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News in brief

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – A transient faces a third-degree assault charge after he allegedly kicked a physician in the jaw and chest.

Aspen police arrested Thomas Edward Weber, 44, shortly after midnight Friday after he became combative with the staff at Aspen Valley Hospital, according to an affidavit for a warrantless arrest, written by officer Chance Williams.

Weber had been admitted to the emergency room earlier that night and tried to stand on the hospital bed while hooked up to an IV, and began throwing punches at Dr. Steven Ayers, the affidavit says. As Ayers, who also is the Pitkin County coroner, and other staff tried to restrain Weber, he kicked the physician in the jaw and chest, the affidavit says.

“Dr. Ayers appeared upset and angry that he had been assaulted by his patient and multiple Emergency Room staff members were talking about what happened,” Williams wrote. “Several of them were visibly shocked.”

Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely advised Weber of the misdemeanor assault charge Friday in county court. Weber accused prosecutors of profiling him because he is homeless. Prosecutors noted that Weber has criminal records in 11 states, ranging from Oregon to Texas to Massachusetts to Iowa.

A mandatory restraining order was put in place that prohibits Weber from having any type of contact with Ayers. He’s due back in court April 10.

BASALT – A Basalt woman found dead Thursday morning was Ashley Marie Pynnonen, 25, the Eagle County Coroner’s Office said Friday.

Pynnonen was found unresponsive at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday at her family’s home in Elk Run subdivision. Family members attempted to revive her and an ambulance was called to the residence, Basalt Police Sgt. Penny Paxton said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Paxton said there was “nothing suspicious” about the death. The coroner’s office said a cause of death hasn’t been determined yet, pending an autopsy report and toxicology test.


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