‘Unstable’ man attacks Aspen cops with razor blades
A 31-year-old transient lunged at three Aspen cops with two razor blades in each hand early Tuesday after warning them that he was “unstable,” police said.
After two of the officers drew Tasers and another drew his gun, Matthew Atwood dropped the razor blades and was arrested for assault, menacing, possession of weapons by a previous offender, carrying a concealed weapon, disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Later Tuesday during his advisement in Pitkin County District Court, Atwood attempted to get up and leave the courtroom, prompting five sheriff’s deputies to quickly surround him.
“I don’t want to hear no more,” said the heavily tattooed, approximately 300-pound Atwood as he tried to leave. “I don’t need to hear it.”
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Pitkin County Jail Administrator Don Bird and District Judge Chris Seldin were able to calm Atwood and continue the hearing. Seldin later ordered Atwood held in lieu of a $10,000 cash or surety bond.
“Ten thousand (dollars) might as well be $10 million, so we’re done here,” Atwood said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Aspen police officers first came into contact with Atwood about 11 p.m. Monday at Local’s Corner after he was reported to be causing a disturbance, according to an affidavit filed in District Court. When pushed to provide identification, Atwood assumed a fighting stance and told officers he was a convicted felon “and cops made him nervous,” the affidavit states.
A clerk at the convenience store told officers Atwood was forbidden to come back into the store.
“He told us he had no place to say, had just arrived in Aspen and was looking for work in the marijuana industry,” according to the affidavit.
The officers left the store believing they’d calmed the situation, the affidavit states.
However, at about 12:45 a.m. officers were dispatched to Rubey Park about Atwood’s “erratic behavior,” according to the affidavit. “Atwood was very animated, pacing around and accusing us of bothering him, saying ‘I just want to be left alone,’” the affidavit states.
Atwood then laid on the ground, crossed his ankles and interlaced his fingers behind his head and said, “Go ahead and arrest me,” according to the affidavit.
An officer then said he could only arrest him for disorderly conduct, to which Atwood asked how many weeks that would land him in jail. When the officer said he’d be out the next day, Atwood escalated the situation, the affidavit states.
“I’ll have to do something more then,” he said, according to the affidavit. “We’re going to get down. I tried to play nice.”
Atwood momentarily calmed down and told officers he was “mentally unstable,” before removing razor blades from his mouth, the affidavit states.
“Atwood got a wild look in his eyes, took a fighting stance and lunged at (three Aspen officers) with two razor blades in each hand, slashing at us, attempting to cut us,” according to the affidavit. “(The three officers) took a giant step back away from Atwood, while (two officers) drew our Tasers and (a third) drew his service pistol.”
Atwood then obeyed instructions to drop the razor blades, laid on the ground and was arrested.
A prosecutor said Atwood has been previously convicted of felonies in Pennsylvania and Florida.
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With “hands-on” off-limits as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold across the United States, Colorado and Pitkin County, emergency first-responders are having to tweak the traditional ways they go about doing their jobs.