Taxi beating a case of necessary roughness? |

Taxi beating a case of necessary roughness?

Joel Stonington
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Why did an Oklahoma CEO beat up an Aspen taxi driver? Because he had to.

That’s what Brooks Mims Talton III is arguing in two cases ” one civil, one criminal ” against him in Pitkin County District Court.

Talton, 41, faces criminal charges of motor vehicle theft, driving under the influence and misdemeanor assault. He was released from jail on a $4,000 bond in late July. Talton also has been sued by the alleged victim, Paul Nesvat, a driver for High Mountain Taxi. Nesvat sued Talton last September.

Talton’s legal mess came in the wake of an incident on July 29. That’s when Nesvat was dispatched to a party at the Aspen Art Museum to pick up Talton and take him to a private home on Castle Creek Road.

After Nesvat picked up Talton and the two were passing by Aspen Valley Hospital, Talton began punching Nesvat in the head and face, according to the Nesvat’s civil complaint. Unable to deflect many of the punches while he was driving, Nesvat stopped the taxi and fled on foot, the lawsuit alleges.

However, Talton’s lawyers have responded that it was actually the taxi driver who turned and struck Talton first.

“Nesvat became frustrated at not being able to locate the address, and Nesvat then physically struck Talton,” reads a brief Talton submitted in the criminal case. “Talton defended himself from this attack the only way he could; by lashing back, getting into the driver’s seat of the taxi and fleeing from Nesvat.”

Talton then proceeded to drive away in the cab up Castle Creek Road by himself, leaving Nesvat by the road. Nesvat called 911, and, within a few minutes, Talton was stopped by police and was arrested, according to the complaint.

In both the civil suit and criminal case, Talton has not denied that he punched Nesvat and drove away in the taxi. Instead, Talton is arguing that it was necessary to do those things because Nesvat attacked him first, as Talton was asleep in the back seat of the cab.

The “choice of evils” defense came as somewhat of a surprise after eight weeks of continuances were granted by District Judge James Boyd, allowing Talton to enter an in-patient alcohol treatment program in Georgia.

Treatment programs are often used by the defense in a criminal case in part to seek a better plea bargain with a district attorney.

Talton’s defense teams have also filed other motions, including multiple motions to suppress evidence in the case. In one of those, Talton claims he was never read his Miranda rights after he was pulled over driving the allegedly stolen taxi.

Further, the defense has also submitted briefs claiming Nesvat has “issues with alcohol” and that Nesvat’s medical records indicate he uses alcohol 3 to 4 nights a week.

For his own part, Nesvat has declared in an affidavit submitted in both the criminal and civil file, that Talton beat and assaulted him without provocation.

Nesvat’s victim impact statement shows that Nesvat sustained a concussion, nasal contusion, bloody nose, post-injury headaches and other injuries in the attack. His hospital bills added up to $547.49, according to the statement, and lost wages totaled $1,203.82.

Talton, who has frequented Aspen for years, is the CEO and president of Compressco, an Oklahoma City oil and gas exploration company. He also is the founder and president of GJ Measurement LLC., which Compressco acquired in October 1999.

Neither Talton or Nesvat could be reached for comment.


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