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Two charged in Fourth fight

Aspen Times Staff Report

While Aspen’s Fourth of July celebrations were festive for most people, they weren’t festive for several people involved in fights at a local residence.

As a result of the brawls, two men have been charged with disorderly conduct and another made a trip to Aspen Valley Hospital to get stitches in a finger. Several other people were apparently sporting fresh bruises and cuts yesterday, as well.

The fights took place at a party at 135 West Hopkins, at the home of David Smith, 29. The trouble started at about the same time the city’s fireworks display started, according to reports from witnesses and the police.

According to a witness, at around 9:15 p.m. or so, local resident Selig Haarklou, 22, and an unidentified man came into the front yard where the party was going on and immediately got into a dispute with someone at the party.

A tussle ensued among an undetermined number of people, as the partygoers banded together to eject Haarklou and his companion. During the fight, Haarklou allegedly bit one of the participants, Jesse Davis, on the finger.

The police were called, but by the time officers arrived, Haarklou had left and the fight was over.

A short time later, as Davis was sitting in a friend’s car waiting to go to the hospital to have his finger treated, Haarklou allegedly returned with a golf club. He began pounding on the passenger window and yelling at Davis, according to a witness.

The window broke, and Davis said he was showered with glass and hit at least once by the golf club. He said that at some point the club’s head flew off and into the back seat of the car.

According to a police report, the police showed up again and started pulling the combatants apart.

David Smith, according to police, was struggling with Haarklou and yelling that Haarklou had broken out the window of Smith’s girlfriend’s car.

When the two could not be calmed down, police arrested them both on charges of disorderly conduct. Haarklou was later charged with criminal mischief for breaking the car window.

Haarklou, Smith and Davis all went to the hospital that night, where Davis received 18 stitches in his finger and all three were treated and released. Haarklou reportedly had fairly serious injuries, including possibly a broken nose and a broken hand.

The trouble, however, was not over.

While the combatants were at the hospital, a group of young men reportedly walked into the house and picked a fight with the few people who were left behind.

Davis said he returned to the house at around 10:30 p.m. to find his friends sitting around nursing various wounds. Witnesses and police said the group of attackers had showed up in retaliation for the earlier treatment of Haarklou.

Although the identities of the assailants were apparently known to those in the house, and the police did show up at one point during the final fight, no further arrests were reported.

One man was handcuffed briefly, but was released when he convinced police he had shown up to attend the party, and had actually been trying to break up the fight when a lone officer arrived and grabbed him. The assailants ran away before they could be stopped by police.

Haarklou and Smith have been ordered to appear before Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely.

Other than the extended fight at the party, police reported a busy but routine Fourth of July, with only minor disturbances and occasional arrests.


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