More details emerge about X Games weekend arrests
The Aspen Times
More information about arrests and summonses related to this year’s ESPN Winter X Games came to light Monday.
Generally, the event is held for four full days, from Thursday through Sunday at Buttermilk Ski Area, but one sparsely attended competition kicked things off Wednesday night. ESPN officials said Sunday that a Winter X Games attendance record was set over the following four days, with 115,000 spectators showing up at the venue for the games.
Given the large crowd sizes, Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said he was pleased with what he and other officials characterized as a low number of arrests: 23. The exact breakdown of the nearly two dozen arrests was not available Sunday or Monday.
Bruce Benjamin, juvenile investigator for the Sheriff’s Office, said Monday that the department issued petty-offense summonses to 18 youths at the event for various infractions, including possession of alcohol, drugs and drug paraphernalia. One youth was cited for false identification, he said.
The offenders ranged in age from 14 to 19, Benjamin said. Most were residents of Colorado, from places such as Craig, Gunnison, Parachute, Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Vail, Boulder and Denver. A few were natives of the Roaring Fork Valley, Benjamin said.
The figure of 18 youths represented only the Sheriff’s Office’s cases, he said. Colorado Department of Revenue agents also cited minors suspected of breaking laws: primarily consumption or possession of alcohol, officials said.
In most cases, they were released to the custody of parents or guardians, said Benjamin, who spent part of Monday afternoon sorting evidence against the youths.
One Aspen High School student, a 16-year-old male, was caught with a marijuana pipe, a grinder for taking cannabis buds and turning them into a fine powder for smoking, tools for cleaning the pipe and a small package of firecrackers.
A 14-year-old female middle-school student from Glenwood Springs was caught with what looked to be around one-quarter of an ounce of marijuana. Another youth tried to sneak in alcohol in a plastic bottle designed for a soft drink, but the liquid clearly did not have the same color as the popular cola originally in the container.
The youths will be required to appear in Pitkin County Court in late February and early March before Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely. Some of the out-of-town offenders complained to authorities about having to travel back to Aspen for their court dates. One youth was a resident of California.
“We told them it was a consequence of committing a crime while they were out of town,” Benjamin said.
Most, but not all of the youths cited by the Sheriff’s Office were caught when they tried to sneak items past the security checkpoint at the entrance to the games, he said. Various items were hidden inside of backpacks, purses or clothing. The checkpoint was managed by PES, a private security firm based in Tempe, Arizona.
Also on Monday, the Aspen Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and clerks for Pitkin County District Court provided information about adults who were charged with felonies and misdemeanors in connection with Winter X Games weekend. Some were arrested at the Buttermilk venue, which lies in unincorporated Pitkin County, and others were suspected of crimes in Aspen’s city limits.
Not all of the arrests should be considered as part of the aforementioned 24 arrests that stemmed from the X Games venue or its vicinity. They include:
• Arpi T. Bocchieriyan, 18, of Centennial. She was arrested at Buttermilk on Saturday evening on suspicion of three felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. The exact nature of the substance was unknown as of press time. The Pitkin County Jail released her after $7,500 bond was posted on her behalf.
• Clancy D. Maddox II, 24, of Littleton. He was arrested at Buttermilk on Saturday evening on suspicion of one felony count of possession of the controlled substance known as “Molly,” a slang term for the drug MDMA, or ecstasy. The jail released him after $7,500 bond was posted.
• Eric A. Syverson, 36, of Castle Rock. He was arrested at Buttermilk on Sunday afternoon on suspicion of one felony count of possession of a Schedule I drug. A search at the X Games security checkpoint allegedly revealed that he was trying to bring Molly and psychedelic mushrooms into the event. He was released from the jail after $2,500 bond was posted.
• Eric A. Barg, 39, of Glenwood Springs. He was arrested at Buttermilk on Sunday afternoon on two misdemeanor counts: harassment-obscene gesture and ethnic intimidation.
• Liam M. Dunn, 25, of Durango. He was arrested Friday evening at Buttermilk on a misdemeanor warrant as a fugitive from another county.
• Kevin B. Potts, 25, of Orlando, Florida. He was arrested early Sunday morning in Aspen on a misdemeanor trespassing charge.
• Landin G. Smith, 50, listed as a transient. He was arrested Saturday evening in Aspen on a misdemeanor trespassing charge.
• Andrew G. Ukraine, 31, of Aspen. He was arrested early Monday morning in Aspen on suspicion of disorderly conduct-fighting, a petty offense.
• Tyron P. Vanderwaal, 21, of Minturn. He was arrested early Monday morning in Aspen on suspicion of urinating in public, a petty offense.
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