New Year’s Eve no party for police | AspenTimes.com
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New Year’s Eve no party for police

Tim Mutrie

Two people were injured when an unusually raucous crowd of New Year’s Eve revelers in Aspen toppled a downtown light pole.

It was but one incident in what local police say was one of the rowdiest New Year’s celebrations in recent memory.

A throng of celebrants brought down the pole at the intersection of Cooper and Galena streets shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve.

“The two people were transported to [Aspen Valley] Hospital, one of whom had been on the pole,” said Loren Ryerson, patrol supervisor with the Aspen Police Department. Both individuals suffered only minor injuries, according to Vicki Nall, patrol supervisor.

Ryerson said four people were hanging from the pole while a mosh pit-type crowd rollicked around it, felling the fixture. No arrests have been made in connection with the incident, but an investigation is continuing, Ryerson said.

Police did arrest about a half-a-dozen partiers for disorderly conduct on New Year’s Eve, all of whom were brawling in some fashion or another.

“There were a lot of fights,” Nall said.

“We were literally running from fight to fight,” Ryerson echoed. “When we have that much going on, typically we’ll lecture and release [the troublemakers]. But most of the people arrested had been contacted and warned earlier that night.”

Chris Jordan of Massachusetts was arrested for trespassing on New Year’s Day after he apparently called it a night at a house on South Second Street, according to police.

The home’s owner was outside shoveling snow Friday morning, and noticed footprints leading to the sliding glass door of the supposedly uninhabited guest house. The homeowner found Jordan sprawled out on the bed inside and summoned police.

“He had no idea where he was,” Nall said.

Police were shorthanded for the night of partying, despite assigning 10 officers to duty.

“It just wasn’t enough,” Nall said. “But a hundred probably wouldn’t have been enough.”

“I hadn’t seen it this bad in a number of years,” Ryerson said. “I don’t think any officer went home before 5 a.m. that night.”

A video tape of the Times Square-like celebration at Cooper and Galena could lead to more arrests after it’s reviewed, Ryerson said. An officer shot the footage between about 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Also on New Year’s Eve, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office arrested three individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol, but Aspen police didn’t make any DUI arrests that night.

“We didn’t have time,” Nall said.


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