Probe into scuffle between deputy, teen likely
November 14, 2006
Aspen Police Chief Loren Ryerson is urging an external investigation into a scuffle between Joe DiSalvo, head of investigations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, and a 15-year-old boy Thursday at the police station.
“It will be fully investigated – not by us – but the issue will be investigated to find out what happened,” Ryerson said Tuesday. “I will recommend [Sheriff Bob Braudis] ask for an outside investigator to look at it.” According to Ryerson, DiSalvo and Aspen police Detective Eric Ross were in the main entry to the police station with two boys when a scuffle broke out. The boys’ mother was in the hallway at the time; Ryerson would not say why the family was at the station. The Aspen Times learned of the alleged altercation through a letter from Basalt resident June Tramwell. She did not leave a phone number or return address, and is not listed in the phone book.
Tramwell’s letter contains serious allegations, including sexual harassment and harassment, against DiSalvo, a 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.Ross and DiSalvo refused to comment on the case because the boy is a minor and because the matter is under investigation. Criminal charges have not been filed against the teenager nor DiSalvo. Ryerson did say an internal police report has been filed and witnesses have been interviewed, though the report is sealed because the investigation is ongoing. “I’m as concerned as you are,” Ryerson said. “When allegations of this kind are made, it’s a very serious matter. Over time I’m sure the issue will be discovered and the truth will be known.”
Ryerson said he would talk the matter over with Braudis, who is on vacation until Nov. 27 and was not available for comment.DiSalvo has run afoul of the law before. On June 22, 2004, an off-duty DiSalvo punched a man in the face at Jimmy’s restaurant. Criminal charges against DiSalvo were dismissed after a one-year deferred prosecution; he paid $150 in administrative costs and approximately $4,200 in compensation to the victim for medical costs as part of an agreement with the prosecution. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.