Ireland a victim of parking rage, Aspen police say |

Ireland a victim of parking rage, Aspen police say

John Colson

Pitkin County Commissioner Mick Ireland was apparently the victim of “parking rage” last Friday evening when his car door struck the door of a Range Rover, angering the driver.

According to Aspen Police Officer Sandy Brownlee, Ireland pulled his car, make and model unknown, into the Aspen Post Office parking lot around 5:30 p.m. Friday.

When he got out, Brownlee said, his car door hit the side of the Range Rover in the next space. The driver of the Range Rover, Kevin McCarthy, reportedly got upset and started yelling at Ireland about the damage.

Brownlee said Ireland responded that he hadn’t hurt the Range Rover and moved toward the post office entrance when McCarthy jumped out of his car and allegedly started punching Ireland.

Ireland, 51, reportedly either was knocked to the ground or dropped to protect himself while McCarthy, 43, continued to punch and perhaps kick Ireland.

Brownlee said Ireland came to the police department Friday to report the assault and that McCarthy confirmed Ireland’s version when he was contacted by police. But, Brownlee said, McCarthy claimed that Ireland “postured” and provoked the fisticuffs.

“The guy hit my car, got out and told me he didn’t care,” McCarthy said when contacted for this story.

“A lot of words got shouted,” McCarthy continued. “He started acting like he wanted to do something, so I said, `You want a piece of this?’ and he said, `Yeah,’ so I bolted out of my car and threw a couple of punches. Basically, he started a fight, and then he didn’t want to fight.”

McCarthy was issued a ticket for assault and battery and is to appear in municipal court. Ireland was not ticketed.

“I tried to avoid a confrontation and was hit when I turned to walk away,” Ireland said Sunday evening.

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