Vail bus assault apparently centered around nonexistent gun
Man ordered to stay off buses in Eagle County if he posts bond
EAGLE — Lesley D. Shelton, accused of assaulting a man on a Vail Transit bus with a knife, appeared in court Friday via a video feed from the Eagle County jail and saw his bond set at $10,000.
Shelton, 45, was reportedly riding bus 151 on March 27 when he approached the victim from behind as the victim was going to get off the bus. Shelton allegedly had an open folding knife in his hand as he approached the victim, and was at one point holding the weapon flat to the victim’s chest while yelling about the man pulling a gun on him, and later challenged the man to a fight.
When the bus door opened, Shelton exited when the driver told him to get off. The victim stayed on and got off at another stop, according to a police affidavit.
“The victim luckily was not harmed” in the incident, prosecutors told the court Friday. Reached for comment, Vail Police confirmed there was no gun ever pulled on anyone on the bus.
The incident was apparently reported by the bus driver, not the victim. The public helped Vail Police identify Shelton, who was arrested on a felony menacing charge, as well as misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment, harassment and disorderly conduct.
Shelton maintained in court that the victim had pulled a gun on him, and said that he was struggling to understand why he was facing so many charges. “Someone displayed a gun, I tried to disarm him … that was it,” Shelton said.
Pointing to the fairly serious allegations Shelton is facing and to community risk, Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez left his bond set at $10,000. She also set a bond condition that Shelton not be allowed on any of the bus systems in Eagle County.
When Shelton said he has no way other than the bus to get home, apparently to Leadville, the judge suggested he reach out to deputies in the jail to see if they can help him get a ride home if he posts bond.
Tom Lotshaw can be reached at email@example.com.