Police arrest man after knife attack | AspenTimes.com

Police arrest man after knife attack

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

An Aspen man was arrested Wednesday morning after allegedly slicing a man’s throat with a knife near Old Snowmass.

The suspect, identified by the Pitkin County Jail as Don Branson, is charged with second-degree assault and attempted murder, said Joe DiSalvo, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office director of investigations.

The suspect was not identified by police, and other information was not available; investigators had not filed an affidavit for the suspect’s warrantless arrest as of press time.

DiSalvo would not release the victim’s name, but said the man is a Glenwood Springs resident who suffered a laceration on his neck. He was treated at Aspen Valley Hospital and then released. According to a hospital official, the victim is 36 years old.

The suspect was taken into custody in the parking lot of the Aspen Club after a 30-minute manhunt in downtown Aspen. He allegedly was carrying a knife with him.

According to DiSalvo, the victim told police the incident occurred in a rural area near Old Snowmass. The victim said he was not familiar with the area and was unsure exactly where the assault took place. DiSalvo would not comment on what the suspect and victim were doing in that area, or why the crime occurred.

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But DiSalvo said the victim and the suspect have known each other for a few weeks.

The victim flagged down a motorist and got a ride up to Aspen, where he went to a woman’s house on Cooper Avenue. DiSalvo would not comment on the man’s relationship to the woman. The woman called 911.

She told police the suspect had just fled the area. Branson was arrested just after 11:30 a.m., and DiSalvo said he was carrying a knife.

Police impounded a car found parked near City Market that may have been driven by the suspect.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com