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Hockey player accused of losing his cool on the Aspen ice averts trial

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

A Fort Collins amateur hockey player has been barred from participating in the Hockey Mountain High tournament in Aspen this year, according to an order signed by Municipal Judge Brooke Peterson on Wednesday.

Chris Hau, 31, agreed to that stipulation and others as part of a deferred-prosecution agreement with the court. Hau is a real-estate broker who allegedly lost his cool during a game at last year’s tournament and repeatedly punched an opposing player after referees had already broken up a typical in-game altercation.

Hau, who was arrested following the Oct. 4 incident, was accused of assault and battery and disorderly conduct by the City Attorney’s Office. Because of the agreement, a scheduled Feb. 25 jury trial has been canceled.

Under the deferment, Hau agreed to various terms with which he must comply over a one-year period to avoid prosecution, including:

• He cannot violate any city ordinances or state laws, nor those of any other jurisdiction, excluding minor traffic or parking offenses.

• He must pay $150 in court costs.

• He must complete 10 hours of community service.

• He must pay restitution of $946 to the man he punched to cover medical expenses.

The order states that if Hau complies with those conditions, the charges will be dismissed. Should he violate one or more of the terms, the case will be set for trial again.

Hau was not present in court Wednesday morning. He was represented by Aspen attorney Jeff Wertz.

Hau, who has not admitted guilt, allegedly skated away from the player following the in-game fight that was managed by referees. However, he turned and skated back to the player to restart the fight, police said.

The alleged victim’s brother told an Aspen policeman that Hau grabbed the player’s facemask and “violently ripped (his) helmet off his head,” a police report said.

Hau then dropped his gloves and proceeded to punch the player in the face, the report said. The victim did not throw a single punch, his brother told police.

After multiple punches to the face, the victim “fell to his hands and knees” and Hau jumped on his back, the brother said. Hau used his hands to slam the victim’s face into the ice and continued to punch him in the back of the head, according to the report.

The fight touched off a separate altercation in a local restaurant in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, according to Aspen police. A teammate of the player who was punched by Hau retaliated against one of Hau’s teammates at an East Hyman Avenue pizza parlor and was arrested, police said.

Patrick Roberts, 32, of Denver, pleaded guilty to assault and was ordered by Aspen Municipal Court Judge Brooke Peterson in October to write a letter of apology to city of Aspen ice-rink officials, pay $150 in fees and perform 10 hours of community service.

Roberts received a six-month deferred judgment and unsupervised probation in the case. If Roberts should get arrested before the end of April, he will have to return to court for a reinstatement of charges while facing the possibility of higher fines and jail time.

andre@aspentimes.com


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