Chair-swipee allegedly slugs bystander |

Chair-swipee allegedly slugs bystander

Matt Zalaznick

A man who had a chair pulled out from under him at a Vail Village nightclub last week was arrested for allegedly punching a bystander in the face.

The victim, a 27-year-old Indiana man, told police he was in the nightclub around 1:30 a.m., March 27, having a few drinks with some friends when saw a chair slide out from under a man sitting nearby.

The man fell off the chair, jumped up and immediately began yelling at him, the victim told police.

The victim told the man that he hadn’t pulled the chair out and that the man was acting “high-schoolish.” The chairless man then allegedly punched him in between the eyes, breaking his glasses and causing a small cut, according to the police report.

A friend of the victim said the man stumbled and fell in to his lap. The victim said he was stunned and that a few bouncers rushed in but they grabbed the wrong man. The bar was searched but the alleged assailant had left the bar.

While a Vail police officer was looking for the suspect among people getting on buses at the transportation center, he received a report of another fight nearby.

When he got to the scene, the victim and his friend were holding the assault suspect down on the ground. Both men told the officer that it was the man who had allegedly thrown the destructive punch.

The suspect, a 23-year-old ski-boot fitter from Avon, said he’d never seen the two men and had no idea why they accosted him. He said he’d had an argument in the nightclub but hadn’t punched anyone. He said he wasn’t a fighter.

When the officer asked him about a fresh cut on the knuckle of one of his fingers, the man said he must have gotten it while snowboarding that day.

The man was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery and later released on $300 bail.

Condo raided

A Vail woman was rushed to a drug rehabilitation center Friday after her live-in boyfriend was arrested by police who raided their apartment and found $5,000 worth of cocaine, according to police records.

The man, 27, who lives in the Buffer Creek Condos, was allegedly supplying cocaine to the woman as well as selling it in Eagle County, said Sgt. Mike McWilliam, of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

Police received an anonymous tip that cocaine was being sold out of the apartment, McWilliam said.

When officers went to the apartment around 1 p.m., the woman answered the door. She told police she was sick and she was waiting that very afternoon for her aunt to pick her up and take her to check-in to a drug rehab center.

The man, who was lying on the couch, allegedly gave police the first of a string of phony names when they began questioning him. Police also quickly discovered a small bag of what they suspected was cocaine in a pocket of the man’s pants.

Police then searched the house more extensively and found bags of suspected cocaine hidden in a pair of cowboy boots and in other articles of the man’s clothing, McWilliam said.

The man was arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute and criminal impersonation.

While he was being booked into the Eagle County jail, police found another bag of suspected cocaine and the man was additionally charged with introducing contraband into a detention facility.

He was held on $12,500 bail and also placed on an immigration hold.

Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at

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