Report: Drunken man attacks random camper

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times
Garrett Hughes

A drunken man with two hitchhikers in tow assaulted a random man sleeping in his car at an area campground early Saturday morning and threatened to kill him with a 9mm handgun, police said.

Garrett Hughes, 30, of Carbondale later denied the assault and the threat, though he “followed up most of his denials with ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t remember’ or ‘It doesn’t matter,’” according to a police report filed in Pitkin County District Court.

“I was just trying to show off and be a tough guy,” Hughes later told a sheriff’s deputy. “I don’t have any friends left.”

A 66-year-old man sleeping in his car at the Prince Creek Campground told the deputy that someone driving a large, blue, newer truck entered his campsite about 4 a.m. Saturday and began “doing doughnuts,” honking the horn and flashing the headlights into his vehicle, the report states. An hour later, the same truck returned and began doing the same thing.

“This time, several males got out of the truck,” according to the report.

The alleged victim said Hughes grabbed him by the shoulders at that point. The man was able to push Hughes off and grab his crossbow.

“Hughes charged at (the man) and Hughes ran his face into the crossbow,” the report states. “Hughes yelled ‘I have a Glock 9mm. Come back, I’m gonna kill you.’”

The man said Hughes was “extremely intoxicated” and headed down Prince Creek Road toward Highway 133 when he left, according to the report.

“(The man) sounded very shaken up while speaking with me,” Deputy Monique Merritt wrote in her report.

Garfield County sheriff’s deputies and Carbondale police officers pulled over Hughes’ truck at about 5:30 a.m. and found the unloaded handgun under the front seat, the report states. They also discovered empty and full beer cans as well as a “medium-size bong in the middle console above the gearshift,” according to the report.

When Merritt encountered Hughes, he had several fresh, bloody scratches on his nose, bloodshot eyes and appeared to be crying.

“Hughes only had one flip-flop on and the fly of his shorts was all the way down,” the police report states.

Two Hispanic men who were with Hughes told deputies they had just met him that night when he offered them a ride to their cousin’s house.

“Very quickly they figured out Hughes was ‘crazy,’” the report states.

They said they didn’t know why he wanted to start a fight with the camper and that they convinced Hughes to leave the scene after he pulled the gun because they did not “want to see someone get murdered,” according to the report.

Merritt said Monday that Hughes and the alleged victim did not know each other, and that Hughes randomly assaulted him. Hughes was charged with felony menacing as well as DUI, prohibited use of weapons and harassment, which are all misdemeanors. He was ordered held in lieu of a $4,500 bond Monday.