Spitter, fighters keep Aspen cops busy over weekend
From a man sneezing around skiers at the gondola and yelling he had coronavirus to belligerent, pugilistic drunks in local bars, Aspen police had their hands full this weekend, according to police reports.
All four men involved in the weekend incidents ended up behind bars at the Pitkin County Jail after fighting with officers, one of whom had to go to the hospital after the man who claimed to be infected with the virus spit in his eye.
“(The officer) was visibly upset and scared because he had just been sneezed/spit on,” according to a police report. “(The officer received) treatment at Aspen Valley Hospital.”
The spitter — 32-year-old Brandon Tidrow of Snowmass Village — was first reported to police about 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Gondola Plaza wearing a mohawk haircut and “telling people he had the coronavirus and that he was deaf,” the report states.
“He was spitting on rails, rubbing and putting his hands in his pants and then wiping his hands on other people and the railing by the Gondola Plaza,” according to the police report.
An employee at Ajax Tavern told police Tidrow was sneezing near skiers in line for the gondola, yelling he had the virus and putting a GoPro camera down the front of his pants while yelling epithets directed toward the owners of Aspen Skiing Co.
“(The) male kept going around licking his fingers and touching things,” the report states. “(He) would touch people of all ages on the shoulder as they walked by. (People) kept asking for the male to get away from them.”
Officers finally caught up to Tidrow outside Carl’s Pharmacy, where he taunted them with the GoPro camera and then fled inside the store. He went to the back of the store, telling customers he had coronavirus, and ignored commands from officers to stop. He then spit in the officer’s face who tried to apprehend him, with his saliva entering the officer’s eyes, the report states.
Officers were able to wrestle Tidrow to the ground, handcuff him and arrest him.
“Tidrow was laying on the ground telling officers he had the coronavirus,” according to the report. “A spit mask was placed around Tidrow’s head and face for officer safety.”
On Monday, Tidrow was charged with felony second-degree assault for spitting on the officer, as well as misdemeanor reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, menacing, resisting arrest and harassment. In District Court, he asked to be released from jail, saying he had “a busy mind” and needed “something to do.”
Prosecutor Don Nottingham acknowledged that Tidrow appeared to be experiencing mental health issues, but said he also was concerned for community safety and asked that he be held in lieu of a $25,000 cash-only bond. District Judge Chris Seldin granted the bond.
It was not clear Monday whether Tidrow was infected with COVID-19, though he was not exhibiting symptoms, Nottingham said. He didn’t know if Tidrow had been tested for the disease.
Later Saturday, a 30-year-old California man spared officers reuse of the spit mask but instead forced jail deputies to strap him down in a restraint chair after cursing at customers at the Hotel Jerome and trying to start fights, according to reports.
Austin Morgan, described as “grizzled,” large and wearing a red beard, was in the hotel’s Living Room bar when a bartender cut him off due to excessive intoxication. Morgan became upset, began threatening to kill customers and called the bartender names. Hotel employees confronted him but he refused to leave, reports state.
Morgan, of Brawley, California, walked out of the bar, then kicked the dashboard of a police car after he was arrested and was placed in a “hobble.” At the jail, he continued being verbally abusive and trying to pull away from officers, so he was strapped into the restraint chair.
Morgan was charged with trespassing, harassment and obstructing officers.
Early Friday morning, officers were called to W Hotel, where they found a man in possession of possible methamphetamines who was acting paranoid and delusional, according to police reports.
La’Darrius Morgan, 22, of Denver, told police someone hacked his computer accounts and that everyone in town was harassing him. He refused to leave the hotel and when officers tried to escort him out, he began to fight them, reports state.
Officers later found a crystalline substance in his backpack at the jail after discovering a glass pipe in his front pocket. Morgan then refused to change out of his clothes until deputies told him they would cut them off of him. In the morning, he defecated himself and smeared the feces around his jail cell, according to police reports.
Morgan was charged with resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing and assault.
Finally, early Sunday morning, officers arrested Anthony Taylor, 34, of Aspen, after he inexplicably punched at least two people at Zane’s Tavern in Aspen.
The bartender told police Taylor wanted to fight patrons, but two men took him outside and calmed him down. However that didn’t work.
“Anthony came back inside the bar and began punching everyone,” according to a police report.
Taylor was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault.
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