Man found in Aspen alley suffered assault |

Man found in Aspen alley suffered assault

An Aspen man was taken to a Grand Junction hospital early Thursday morning after he was found in an alley behind a downtown bar with injuries consistent with being assaulted, police said.

The man — who was not identified by Aspen police — was found in the alley behind Mi Chola by employees of the restaurant who were taking out the trash, said Aspen police Officer Braulio Jerez. The employees called emergency dispatchers about 2:10 a.m.

Jerez, who was nearby, arrived on scene soon after and found the man – in his mid-to-late-30s – laying on the ground in a semi-conscious state and speaking incoherently, he said. The man smelled of alcohol and had a trickle of blood coming out of his left nostril, though there weren’t any overt signs of assault, Jerez said.

The man was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital, where a doctor later told officers the man had suffered head trauma consistent with an assault, he said. He was later taken by ambulance to a hospital in Grand Junction, Jerez said.

Jerez said he saw the man earlier in the night standing at the Mi Chola bar during routine downtown patrols, and he seemed fine.

“He was literally dancing,” he said.

Staff at Mi Chola were calling the man by name when Jerez arrived in the alley, though none reported him getting into any altercations with other patrons Wednesday night, Jerez said. Staff did not know what time the man left the restaurant, he said.

Aspen police are investigating the incident as a crime and are checking nearby video surveillance in an attempt to trace the man’s movements Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, said Aspen police Sgt. Chip Seamans. Evidence collected at the scene also might shed some light on what happened, he said.