Threats to Snowmass Village police chief keep man in jail
A Snowmass Village man with a grievance against the town’s police chief that borders on a vendetta will remain behind bars at the Pitkin County Jail for the time being, a District Judge said Monday.
District Judge Chris Seldin noted that he was aware of the history between Jeremiah Casper, 42, and Snowmass Village Police Chief Brian Olson, but said that Casper’s latest flurry of emails to the chief contained an increase in rhetoric.
“He is now issuing what (a prosecutor believes) to be threats using language involving firearms,” Seldin said. “It is concerning and a public safety issue.”
Casper’s attorney asked that he be let out on a personal recognizance bond, saying that Olson was a “public official” and that the emails were protected by free speech. Prosecutor Don Nottingham, however, said that Olson rightly took the threats seriously “because the alternative would be extremely foolish.”
Casper was released early from prison last month after being found guilty by a jury of theft and burglary, and almost immediately contacted Olson. He sent threatening emails to Olson and other Snowmass Village police officers two years before, as well.
On Monday, Seldin said Casper previously has expressed anger and outrage toward Olson because the chief applied “a pressure point to Casper” while taking him to jail at one point.
“He was very upset about it,” Seldin said. “He believes Olson essentially engaged in police brutality.”
Seldin also noted that Casper has shown up drunk to the District Attorney’s Office in the past and acted in a manner that was perceived as threatening.
Seldin declined to alter the $100,000 bond he originally set for Casper.
For his part, Casper said he was done sending threatening emails and planned to channel his energies toward filing civil lawsuits.
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Pitkin County’s vaccination roll-out continues Friday and Sunday and will include the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine.