Warrant active for man accused of ripping off Aspen restaurants
A man is wanted for failing to appear in court last week to answer charges that he allegedly stole fine cigars and a bottle of wine from an Aspen liquor store and refused to pay for two restaurant meals because he said one was tainted with pork and the other with hair.
Pitkin County Judge Ashley Andrews issued a warrant for the arrest of Shawn Auer at the close of courthouse hours May 17 after he allegedly failed to appear for a status conference concerning a multitude of offenses he faces. The charges recently were consolidated into one case.
“I’m concerned that there could be a another theft and really I’m concerned Mr. Auer is not going to show up for court,” said prosecutor Wes Stokes, noting Auer’s criminal history includes charges of shoplifting and theft in New Mexico, where he also failed to make scheduled court appearances. Stokes’ remarks came during last week’s court session where Auer was a no-show.
Charging documents for Auer list his current residence as Belleville, Illinois, and his age as 48. He remained at large as of Monday, according to officials.
Auer’s recent dust-ups at local businesses are documented in police filings.
• May 6 — Aspen police were called to Steakhouse 316 on East Hopkins Avenue for report of a patron who was unhappy with his meal because of a strand of hair he claimed was in his food. The diner, Auer, was comped for the food containing the hair but refused to pay for the rest of the meal, according to a police report.
“Auer adamantly refused to pay his bill and I explained to him that if he has an issue with the restaurant what avenues he could take, but he can’t eat and drink and not pay his bill,” responding Officer Amanda Severin wrote in the report. “Auer didn’t seem to care. I asked him numerous times if he would pay the bill and Auer said he will not pay the bill and to arrest him.”
Police did that and took him to Aspen Police Department and an officer issued a summons for misdemeanor theft, read him his rights and told him not to return to the restaurant or face trespassing charges.
• May 13 — Shortly after 7 p.m., police arrested Auer at the Red Mountain Grill at the Aspen Golf Course after he allegedly refused to pay a bill for a meal he had there earlier in the week. Auer was on the premises that day looking for rental clubs, and Red Mountain Grill management had kept the receipt for his unpaid meal from days earlier. When a manager confronted Auer about the outstanding receipt, “Auer became belligerent with the staff by yelling and cussing at them, and posturing like he was going to fight,” according to a witness statement to police.
Police arrived and Auer denied any wrongdoing, according to a report from Officer Severin, who had cited him a week earlier for the hair-in-the-food dispute.
“I told Auer he is making it a habit of eating at places and refusing to pay,” said Severin’s report of the May 13 incident. “Auer yelled at me that Red Mountain Grill poisoned him by serving him pork.”
Auer had previously complained that the restaurant staff had “poisoned him” because he’s “100% Jewish” and can’t consume pork.
Management also said Auer had been scheduling tee times at the course under the name of “Leo Christ” but was not keeping his appointments.
Again, police took Auer took to downtown headquarters where he was summonsed for misdemeanor theft and disorderly conduct. Police also let Auer know he’d been 86ed from Red Mountain Grill and the golf club. He was then released from custody.
• May 13 — Later on that date, at approximately 9:01 p.m., police received a call from The Aspen Store about a man who swiped some power drinks and was behaving aggressively toward the store clerk. Auer was not at the store at the time police responded, but Officer Ritchie Zah located him down the block in the dining area outside of Mi Chola, according to a report from Officer Roderick O’Connor.
“I asked Auer, who was smoking a cigar, about his stealing drinks from The Aspen Store and where the bag he took was located,” O’Connor’s report said. “Auer was not forthcoming about the bag, but mentioned he was at Mi Chola to eat.”
O’Connor, however, arrested Auer for theft after he found the power drinks in a bag Auer had left inside the restaurant. It was the second time in the same evening Auer had been cited for theft, but the pork meal and power drinks weren’t all he had allegedly taken.
Officer Severin, who also reported to Mi Chola, also found Auer in possession of one bottle of Opus One Cabernet with a price tag of $389.99, along with four cigars valued at $52.87. Those items had been swiped from the Local Spirits shop next to The Aspen Store, O’Connor reported.
Auer appeared for his advisement on May 14, but that is the last authorities had heard of him as of Monday.
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