Police: Basalt man uses baseball bat in latest rage incident
A Basalt man with a recent history of angry outbursts attracted the attention of law enforcement again Wednesday when he allegedly brandished a baseball bat at an Aspen business, sources said.
Matthew Kornafel, 31, fled Howard’s Last Chance Garage at the Aspen Business Center before deputies arrived and remained at-large Wednesday evening, said Alex Burchetta of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies were called to the garage at about 11 a.m. about a person with a baseball bat, Burchetta said. While they were at the garage, deputies received a report from emergency dispatchers about a blue Audi driving recklessly up Brush Creek Road, he said.
Deputies were aware that Kornafel drives a blue Audi and soon after found the vehicle in a bus transit center parking lot near Town Park in Snowmass Village, he said. The Audi was towed as part of the investigation into the incident, Deputy Jesse Steindler said.
An employee at Howard’s Garage, who requested anonymity, said he knew Kornafel because he used to work there cleaning up the shop. Kornafel had been talking with a mechanic at the shop Wednesday about doing work on his car but the mechanic declined to do the work immediately, the employee said.
Korafel wanted the work done at that time and got into an altercation with the mechanic, he said. Kornafel then retrieved a baseball bat from the trunk of his car and struck the tailpipe of a truck and the window of another vehicle with it, the employee said. The window did not break and Kornafel did no significant damage to the vehicles, he said.
Kornafel took off after that, he said.
Steindler said deputies were continuing to look for Kornafel on Wednesday afternoon. He declined to comment on what charges, if any, would be filed against Kornafel for the garage incident.
Kornafel, an employee of a local marijuana dispensary, was charged with harassment Oct. 1 when he allegedly angrily confronted the manager of New York Pizza after she declined to give him a food discount, according to a police report. He then allegedly stole a brownie and smeared it on the restaurant’s glass front door before going to the back door and throwing wood chips at it, the report states.
The manager later told police she thought Kornafel might have been ready to beat her up during the confrontation, which was witnessed by other customers, according to the police report.
Kornafel also was arrested Sept. 29 after an Aspen police officer saw him standing in traffic on Highway 82 near Cemetery Lane beating on a hotel shuttle with his hand and yelling obscenities at the driver.
Kornafel later told officers he’d been driving behind the shuttle, but it was going too slow so he passed it in the bus lane. He said the shuttle driver then began tailgating him and taking pictures of him with a cellphone, police said.
When the shuttle driver allegedly stopped close to Kornafel’s car while waiting for the Cemetery Lane stoplight, Kornafel got out of his car and began pounding on the shuttle. He was charged with disorderly conduct in that incident.
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A popular Aspen breakfast and lunch restaurant that closed more than two years ago is set to reopen at the end of the month at another location in the downtown core.