Inmate charged with felony after alleged outburst in jail
ASPEN – An Aspen man accused of destroying a camera in the holding area of Pitkin County Jail made his first court appearance Monday to answer a felony count of criminal mischief.
Daniel David Tamez, 32, waived advisement of the charge, which came after Aspen police arrested him Dec. 26 on suspicion of fighting someone outside the Regal Watering Hole in downtown Aspen.
After Tamez was taken to jail, he refused to sign a summons paper and threatened to kill a jail deputy, according to an incident report written by Deputy Levi Borst. Borst, whose report was based on interviews with jail officials and his own investigation, also wrote that Tamez “started kicking the door, and hitting the window of the cell with his hands and arms.”
Tamez then stood on the toilet and unsuccessfully tried to rip out a light fixture and then “began working on the security camera on the wall,” the report says. “Eventually, Tamez was able to pull the camera off the wall breaking the wires. Tamez then began violently smashing the camera off the glass of the holding cell door.”
A jail deputy then called Aspen police for help to place Tamez in a restraining chair, according to the report. Tamez also would not sign an additional summons, issued by Borst for criminal mischief, the report says.
“Tamez was still highly intoxicated and uncooperative – remaining in a restraint chair,” Borst wrote.
Because the amount of damages exceeds $1,000, the criminal mischief charge is a felony, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin.
Mordkin elected not to pursue charges stemming from the alleged fight, which initial police reports indicated was an “ethnic intimidation” case. Mordkin said he did not see evidence to support the ethnic-intimidation charge, which came from initial allegations from a man who said Tamez called him a “faggot.”
Snowmass Village attorney Lawson Wills represents Tamez, whose is due back in court Feb. 6.
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Written pleadings filed Monday in district court by the Pitkin County Restaurant Alliance seek a court decision requiring the defendants — the county, the board of health and interim director — to answer their complaint by Thursday and hold a court hearing on the matter as early as Friday.