Man charged with assault after alleged attack with power washer at Aspen airport
A 51-year-old Carbondale man allegedly assaulted a co-worker with a power washer at an Aspen-Pitkin County Airport business and sexually harassed the woman for a month, according to a police report.
Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies arrested Francisco Lopez on Wednesday and charged him with felony assault and misdemeanor harassment in connection with the alleged incidents.
Deputies responded to Go Rentals, a car rental agency at the airport, on Wednesday after the business’s owner reported the situation, according to the police report.
The woman, who met with deputies with her husband, reported that she’d been working with Lopez for a month, during which time he “attempted to make contact with (her) breasts and her butt,” the report states.
Lopez also allegedly grabbed her by the neck with both of his hands and repeatedly tried to bite her while they were driving in a car together, the report states. He also allegedly made statements to her, including, “I can kill people without leaving a trace” and “I know where your kids are.”
Then, on Oct. 30, Lopez sprayed the woman with a power washer between her breasts, which pictures showed caused broken skin, blistering and probable scarring, the report states.
The owner of the car-rental business told deputies the woman is one of his best employees and that he believed her, according to the report.
In an interview with deputies, Lopez denied making inappropriate contact with or threatening statements to the woman. He admitted spraying her with the power washer, but said it was an accident that occurred after he slipped, the report states.
Lopez demonstrated how the slip happened but Deputy Cameron Daniel did not believe him.
“After taking into consideration my own experience with using a power washer, and the fact that Lopez uses this tool on a regular basis professionally, I found it highly unlikely” that his explanation was how the woman received her injuries, according to the report. “(The) totality of the circumstances led me to believe that the sprayer was used by Lopez to cause harm to (his co-worker).”
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.