Breaking news: Aspen Highlands man lashes out against police in courtroom Monday
September 16, 2013
An Aspen Highlands man who allegedly led police on a short chase up Maroon Creek Road on Friday lashed out against law-enforcement officials, his mother and everyone within earshot at the Pitkin County Courthouse on Monday afternoon.
At one point during the bond hearing for James R. Regan, 24, he turned around and pointed toward Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, sheriff's deputies and Aspen police, glaring at them and shouting obscenities. DiSalvo had earlier testified that Regan had threatened to kill deputies and Aspen police officers at the scene of his apprehension and arrest early Friday morning, about two miles from the Aspen School District campus.
"This is absolutely f—ing ridiculous and I cannot f—ing stand this any longer," Regan said in open court. Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols admonished him and told him to calm down.
Prior to the outburst, his mother had asked Nichols not to reduce the $100,000 cash-surety bond she set for him on Friday after he was apprehended. She told the court that Regan was addicted to methamphetamine — a habit she said he picked up recently while working on an oil rig in New Mexico— and she was concerned about his safety and mental well-being.
"He's highly addicted but not because he wants to be, but because he needs help," she said. "Please do not let him out because he will kill himself if he is released."
A Glenwood Springs resident, his mother also told the court that Regan had been verbally abused as a child by another family member, suggesting that the abuse might be partly to blame for his mental state and recent actions.
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Aspen prosecutor Andrea Bryan argued that Regan's actions on Friday and in the courtroom just minutes earlier proved that the $100,000 bond amount shouldn't be reduced and that he was a present danger to himself and the community.
Bryan said Regan's actions and comments on Friday were "erratic, dangerous, unpredictable" and incoherent, as evidenced by the outbursts in the courtroom as well.
"That's why you should have just killed me when you had the f—ing chance," he shouted toward Bryan and law-enforcement personnel after she spoke of his alleged actions on Friday.
Nichols said the case for keeping the bond amount high appeared to be valid. She told Regan that the $100,000 bond would remain intact for the time being, but that didn't mean he wouldn't eventually earn release. She set his next court appearance for Oct. 7.
As deputies led him out of the courtroom, Regan continued to curse at police and others in the room, shouting, "Don't look at me!" and "Thanks for ruining my life!"
The schools were placed on lock-out status for 15 minutes, between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m., during the Friday incident, which ended after authorities shot bean bags at Regan to subdue him.
For more details on the story, check Tuesday's Aspen Times newspaper or the website http://www.aspentimes.com.
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