An argument over a dog bite escalated into a physical showdown in an Aspen Business Center parking lot, with one man trying to drive away in his Saab as another man jumped on top of the hood and pounded against the windshield, according to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office report.
Incidents in a half-hour span Wednesday evening near the 421 building of the center resulted in two arrests. Basalt resident David Marlow, 67, whose photography studio is in the building, faces charges of felony menacing and misdemeanor assault in his alleged role. Not long after his arrest, he was released from Pitkin County Jail on $2,500 bond.
The second man, Shawn Carroll, 54 — who allegedly was bitten by Marlow’s Jack Russell terrier before the fight — was not jailed. He received a summons to appear in court on a single misdemeanor assault count. According to a deputy’s report, Carroll lives in the same building where Marlow’s studio is housed.
Contacted by phone Thursday, Marlow expressed regret for his part in the events and said he contacted the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office to ask for special mediation in the matter to discuss his differences with Carroll. He said the problems between them began several weeks ago during a dispute over parking spaces in front of the building.
“I called the DA already, and I want to try to get a mediation set up with Shawn because I hate negative energy,” Marlow said. “I want to chat with him and tell him I’m so sorry it’s escalated to this place and I respect him. Nothing like this has ever happened to me, but I’ve never been assaulted before, either.”
Deputy Ryan Turner’s narrative states that he went to the building based on a dispatcher’s call regarding a dog bite. While on the way, he heard Deputy Marcin Debski say over the police radio that he was already on the scene with two males and that the situation was escalating.
Based on interviews with Carroll, Marlow and a witness — a nearby construction worker — Turner pieced together the events as such:
• Around 6 p.m., Carroll walked into Marlow’s studio alleging that the dog bit him, according to Marlow. (Carroll later told authorities there were no visible injuries from the dog bite.)
• At that point, Marlow believed that Carroll was going to assault Marlow, but Carroll didn’t, Marlow said.
• Marlow left the building and got into his Saab. Carroll followed him to the parking lot and “demanded that (Marlow) wait for police to arrive” to investigate the bite, Marlow said.
• Marlow tried to leave the lot, but Carroll stood in front of the car in an attempt to keep Marlow from leaving, according to both men.
• Marlow drove at “a high rate of speed” toward him, Carroll and the witness said. Both added that Carroll jumped up onto the hood of the Saab to avoid being run over and began banging on the hood and windshield, telling Marlow to stop.
• Marlow stopped, and Carroll got off the hood and again stood in front of the car, the witness said. Then Marlow drove at high speed toward Carroll again, and Carroll jumped on it again and began striking the windshield a second time, the witness told Turner.
• At some point during the verbal and physical altercations, Carroll put Marlow in a headlock, Marlow said.
Deputies arrived around 6:30 p.m. and took statements. The windshield of Marlow’s car was damaged, according to incident reports.
Marlow told The Aspen Times he tried to drive away from the scene simply because he was frightened.