Locals, visitors behaving badly?

Steve Benson

Fat Albert made an appearance outside Takah Sushi. New York Pizza ran out of dough. Snowmass Village police had their hands full with overindulgent concertgoers.Besides that, things were pretty quiet over the Labor Day weekend, which was dubbed the busiest of the summer.Guests and residents of Aspen and Snowmass Village were relatively well behaved and local law enforcement agencies were basically bored – most of the time.”It was not very exciting,” said Aspen Police Sgt. Linda Consuegra. “There wasn’t much going on.”No doubt many celebrities were seen on the streets, but Fat Albert – an enormous black bear that’s been making surprise appearances around town all summer – stole the spotlight. Albert, who’s about the size of a Volkswagen Bug, was found loitering outside Takah Sushi as the bars were closing early Friday morning. Realizing that bears and (drunk) people don’t mix, Aspen police were quick to respond.”He didn’t make any threatening moves to anybody,” said Roderick O’Connor, an assistant patrol supervisor with the Aspen Police Department. “He was just doing what bears do.” But O’Connor said police had to be on their toes, as several people expressed a desire to pet the bear. Eventually the behemoth grew tired of all the attention and strolled out of town under police supervision. Late Saturday night, tragedy struck when New York Pizza ran out of dough. It is not known how many munchies-ridden customers were turned away. Earl Rodgers, co-owner of New York Pizza with Kevin Jones, said he hadn’t even heard about the late-night mishap, but he wasn’t surprised.”We’ve been so busy, it’s been great,” Rodgers said. “It’s happened before, because we make all our dough right here.”In Snowmass Village, things were a little less sober.Police and sheriff’s deputies had their hands full during the evening Jazz Aspen Snowmass concerts, when the tiny village turned into a small city.According to Snowmass Village Police Chief Art Smythe, the detox center was active on a nightly basis and several minor calls kept officers on their toes.”It’s been a very busy three and a half evenings for us in terms of little calls,” Smythe said Monday evening. “No major incidents, just an arrest here and there for a DUI, or a minor in possession.”Overall it’s been pretty good.”The Snowmass Village Police Department was assisted by officers from the Basalt Police Department, deputies from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and members of The Right Door, an Aspen-based organization that specializes in detox care.Steve Benson’s e-mail address is