Eagle Valley Enterprise
Vail, CO Colorado

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January 8, 2012
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Police reports: A plan to make fireworks backfires, causes explosion

Editor's note: The following excerpts were taken from Eagle County law enforcement officers and police reports.

EAGLE, Colorado - Eagle Police responded to a parking area behind a Chambers Avenue business Dec. 19 on a report of an explosion.

When officers arrived on the scene, they reported finding a young man smoking a cigarette and another young man pacing around a sports utility vehicle. Eventually, a female approached the SUV and got inside. Both men also got in the car, and it started to back out of the area.

An officer approached the vehicle, and the driver stopped. The other officer approached the passenger and noted some obvious injuries to his face. Emergency medical services were called to the scene.

After initially denying he knew anything about an explosion, the 18-year-old driver said that he and his 16-year-old friend occasionally fashion their own fireworks. Earlier that day, the 16-year-old had obtained some black gunpowder that his friend's father uses for ammunition reloading. The two males had dropped off the older man's mother at the business and were waiting for her when the 16-year-old dropped a lit cigarette into a plastic bottle containing the black powder. The material immediately ignited and the bottle exploded in his face.

Both men said the explosion was louder and quicker than they anticipated. The 18-year-old told the 16-year-old to place some snow on his face to treat his injuries. When he returned to the Eagle Police station to complete his interview and statement, the 16-year-old told officers that the doctor who treated him said his injuries would be similar to a bad sunburn.

After completing interviews and obtaining written statements from both males and the mother, police discussed the issue with the 18-year-old's father, who said he would be locking up his reloading supplies in the future. The case has been forwarded to the district attorney for review.

EAGLE, Colorado - Eagle Police were called to the westbound Interstate 70 off-ramp on Dec. 14 on a report of two men involved in a scuffle.

When contacted, the first man said he was driving westbound on I-70 near Edwards, traveling in the fast lane, when a vehicle came up behind him and started to flash headlights. The man said he slowed down because he could not see and moved into the slow lane. He said when he left the highway at Eagle to get gas, the other driver confronted him.

The second driver told a different story. He said he was driving in the I-70 fast lane at Edwards when he came upon a vehicle traveling well below the speed limit. He said the vehicle slowed down to almost a stop and then he and a number of other cars passed on the right. The second driver said the slow vehicle caught back up to him around the Eagle exit, passed him and then pulled over in front of him. The first driver then reportedly slammed on his brakes and caused the second driver to veer off the right side of the road to avoid a collision. Two other motorists confirmed the second driver's story.

Both vehicles exited the highway; the drivers exited the vehicles and began arguing. After police arrived and conducted interviews, the first motorist was cited for careless driving.

EAGLE, Colorado - An Eagle woman contacted police Dec. 19 when her credit card was denied at a local gas pump. Because she was certain she had plenty of money in the account, the woman returned home to check her account status. She found three fraudulent transactions - $3,640 for airline tickets, $1 for a card check and $80.97 for flowers. The total amount of missing money was $3,722.57.

She informed her bank about the charges and canceled the account.

The case remains open.

EAGLE, Colorado - Eagle Police are investigating the theft of an ankle monitoring bracelet by a man who had been sentenced to wear the device due to a DUI conviction.

The man had been fitted with the ankle monitor on Dec. 14, but on Dec. 21, he reportedly called his probation officer to say he was drinking beer and that he was in St. Louis, Mo. The man said he never planned to come back to Eagle County, and then he made obscene remarks about his probation officer and the judge who handed down his DUI sentence.

When contacted, the man's employer said he had not shown up for work and his landlord reported the man had turned in his apartment keys.

After repeated unsuccessful attempts to reach the man via cellphone, police issued an arrest warrant for him related to the theft of the $1,750 ankle monitor.

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado - On Dec. 24, a 41-year-old man asked deputies to come to his condo in Beaver Creek because his wife was hitting him.

When officers arrived, the man was upset and had redness on both sides of his face. His wife had left in a blue Hummer H3 with Texas license plates. He didn't know where she was going but thought she was intoxicated because she had been drinking earlier that evening. The man told the officers that his wife had been arrested for domestic violence on Thanksgiving and a restraining order prohibited her from drinking alcohol.

Officers were searching for the Hummer when the woman called the man's cellphone. A deputy got on the phone and asked her to stop the car for her safety and to talk things over. The woman screamed at the deputy that she wasn't going to stop because they would take her to jail.

Another deputy spotted the suspect vehicle on I-70, but the driver did not yield when he tried to pull it over. A chase ensued.

Officers set spike strips across the road, which disabled the Hummer by popping its front tires, but it didn't stop. A Colorado State Patrol officer was passing the Hummer on the left, to get in front of it and force it to stop, when the Hummer swerved left and almost hit the patrol car.

The woman was arrested for several charges that have yet to be revealed to the public.

EDWARDS, Colorado - A deputy stopped a truck on Edwards Access Road in Edwards for a defective brake light on Dec. 20.

The license plates and insurance were expired, and the 35-year-old man's driver's license listed an old address. The registration sticker also turned out to be invalid - it belonged to a commercial trailer.

The man was cited for fictitious registration tabs and for driving without proof of insurance.

EDWARDS, Colorado - A 28-year-old resident of Cross Timber Street in Edwards reported a suspicious man on Dec. 23. She said a man with no facial hair wearing a beanie hat and a silver, straight-fit ski jacket was looking in her window.

Officers investigated but only found shoe prints outside the window.

AVON, Colorado - A deputy stopped a car for speeding on I-70 near Avon on Dec. 24.

The officer smelled marijuana when he contacted the 22-year-old driver. He asked the man if there were any drugs in the car. The man said no but then admitted that there was a pipe and container of marijuana in the center console. It also turned out that the man's driver's license had been revoked as a habitual offender.

He was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and less than one ounce of marijuana, and for driving with a revoked license and speeding. The car was impounded.

• Residents on Sunny Avenue in Gypsum reported that someone kicked in their front door on Nov. 21 while they were away. Nothing appeared to be missing from the house. It cost $250 to fix the door.

• Fifty car batteries were stolen from a metal storage cage outside a Gypsum business on Dec. 20. Thieves had previously tried to cut the two locks that secured the cage but gained access on their second attempt by cutting the cage itself. The total value of the batteries was about $800.

• The driver-side mirror was broken off a 2008 Mercedes Benz while it was parked in a public garage in Beaver Creek on Dec. 21.

• Some construction trash was illegally dumped in a storage lot off Crockett Court in Gypsum between Dec. 22 and Dec. 24.

• On Dec. 26, a young woman about 20 years old walked out of a business in Beaver Creek with a pair of Oakley ski pants worth $200 tucked under her arm after a store employee had helped her. The suspect had darker skin and brown, curly hair in a pony tail. She was wearing a white Marmot coat with pink accents. She was with another woman who was white and was wearing a navy down coat.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 8, 2012 11:38PM Published Jan 8, 2012 11:35PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.