Teen gets 10 days, stern lecture after fighting cops | AspenTimes.com

Teen gets 10 days, stern lecture after fighting cops

John Colson

A local teenager who verbally and physically abused police last year was recently sentenced to 10 days in juvenile detention hall and one year of probation

The youth, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, also got a stiff warning from the judge that he needs to stop hanging around with troublemakers or he will get in far worse trouble.

According to prosecutor Lawson Wills, the youth, 17, had been at a party in the Holland Hills area one night last September and was driving back upvalley when the car he was driving clipped another car on Highway 82.

The group of teens was pulled over by a Pitkin County deputy sheriff. The youth proceeded to berate the deputy, saying such things as “I’m going to kick your ass” and “I’m going to kill you” and swearing and spitting and kicking at other deputies as they arrived to offer assistance.

The youth admitted to having drank a considerable amount of hard liquor that night, and deputies said he continued his out-of-control behavior when he was taken to the Pitkin County Jail.

“When he gets in front of authority, he just can’t handle himself,” declared Wills in court last week, urging Judge J.E. DeVilbiss to go along with recommendations that the young man spend some time in detention rather than receive straight probation.

The youth’s defense attorney disagreed, maintaining that his client had been having difficulties since his family moved here from the southeastern United States, but that he is doing much better in school and in general since the night of the incident.

“He has changed his attitude,” said attorney John VanNess, noting that the youth is spending more time with his family than in the past and is working 20 hours per week at a job.

“It’s just me and alcohol is a horrible mix,” intoned the youth when invited by the judge to speak in his own defense. “When I drink, I’m a completely different person.”

“We’re not talking about somebody who’s going out every day and getting loaded when he should be at school,” VanNess concluded, adding that a stay in a detention facility would interfere with the young man’s schoolwork and may cost him his job.

“That’s what happens when you do things like this,” responded the judge. “You miss things.”

DeVilbiss noted that “there’s not just anger that was involved here. There’s just a huge amount of hostility” that the youth either needs to work out or face even greater troubles later in life.

“I do not want to interrupt your education, but I do want to interrupt the behavior that brought you here,” DeVilbiss declared. “All of that stuff has just got to come home to you.”

In addition to the detention time and the probation, the judge ordered that the youth undergo random urinalysis testing as well as weekly alcohol and drug outpatient treatment, and that he perform 40 hours of community service.

The judge also ruled that, if possible, the youth could be released from detention to attend classes. Otherwise, he would have to make do with whatever studying could be done in the detention facility.

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