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Man arrested for sexual assault

A Basalt man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly tried to rape his neighbor Saturday night in a bed she was sharing with her two children.

Lazaro Cruz Ruiz, 28, who lives in the Roaring Fork Club employee housing, is being held in Pitkin County Jail on charges of third-degree sexual assault, third-degree assault, first-degree criminal trespass, first-degree burglary and child abuse, Basalt Police Chief Jim Stryker said.

Ruiz is also facing possible deportation by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service pending resolution of his case, according to a jail official. He was advised Monday in Pitkin County District Court of the charges he is facing.

The alleged victim lived with her family next to the suspect in apartments on Pumphouse Road, according to police reports. Stryker said the victim was at a party with her husband and kids at the suspect’s apartment Saturday evening. She told police the suspect made suggestive advances there, but she rebuffed him.

The woman, whose name wasn’t released, eventually took her youngest child home, said the report by Basalt Police Officer Joe Chavira. Her husband soon brought the other child back to the apartment then returned to the party. Both kids were resting with the woman in the parents’ bedroom.

The suspect allegedly came into the victim’s apartment uninvited and attempted to remove the woman’s clothes. She fended off the attack by punching, pushing and screaming, the report said, and forced Ruiz out of the apartment.

The woman allegedly had to move her children to prevent them from being harmed during the attack, Stryker said.

The report said that the woman convinced the husband not to take matters into his own hands that night. They called the police at 2:20 a.m. Officer Chavira contacted the suspect at his apartment at about 4 a.m. and asked about the night’s activities.

“He looked at me confused and asked what happened,” the report said. Ruiz was arrested and taken to Pitkin County Jail.

Jail records indicate Ruiz had an alcohol level of .082 when he was tested several hours after the alleged incident.

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Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2001


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