The ‘suspect’ that got away |

The ‘suspect’ that got away

Scott Condon

Here’s a case where the Basalt cops are glad the “suspect” got away.Two officers responded to a domestic disturbance call on Homestead Road one night last week. They were told by a dispatcher that the male suspect had already left the residence, so they were keeping an eye on yards in the area.As they walked around the neighborhood, officer Brooke Bishop heard something that made her think she was on the suspect’s trail. “I got my gun out because it was such a loud noise,” she said. She also got out her flashlight and started flicking it around to find the source of the noise. She announced herself as a Basalt police officer and order the noisemaker to come out.Just as officer George Dow joined Bishop, a large black bear crashed out of a tree onto the ground, surprising both officers.”He startled me. He was huge,” said Bishop. (Other officers who have seen the bear estimate it to be 300 pounds.) “I was thinking ‘Oh my God.'”Fortunately, the bear was just as surprised as the cops. The bear turned tail and ran.Bishop said the timing of the incident was ironic. “One minute before that call came in I was saying [to Dow] I haven’t seen a bear yet,” she said.Since then Bishop has seen one every night she has been on duty. The black bear is roaming town, as are two cubs and a yearling.Basalt’s bear incidents have been on the rise in the last few weeks, as large piles of scat in yards and on the main drag can attest most mornings. Problems have been minimal, though, according to police.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is