Eighteen busts made during BB&B bedlam
Tuesday BB&B apparently wasn’t such a festive end-of-season blowout for some people.Eighteen people were arrested during the annual rowdy ritual and are headed to court on charges ranging from drug possession to assault to ski-pass fraud.Eagle County sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Forest Service rangers and a squadron of police from elsewhere in Colorado kept their eyes on the thousands of revelers at Minnie’s Deck as the party raged above Lionshead Village Tuesday afternoon.But Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Kromer, who’s patrolled several BB&Bs, said dragging people out of the party and arresting them was not law enforcement’s objective.”We did not have arresting people at the site as an incident objective, but we did seize drug paraphernalia if it was in plain use in front of us,” Kromer said. “Our objective was to maintain the safety of all personnel and the management of intoxicated persons.”BB&B<a raucous end-of-season party tolerated but not sanctioned by Vail Mountain or the U.S. Forest Service<occurred Tuesday for the 22nd consecutive year. Revelers headed up to Minnie’s Deck, a wooded below the top of the gondola, days ahead of time to build snow forts and stash alcohol and other substances.Kromer said one man who suffered a suspected drug overdose around 4 p.m. was rushed down the mountain in a toboggan and taken to the hospital by ski patrol.Two other BB&Bers were taken via snowcat to detox by sheriff’s deputies, Kromer said.”I was surprised how many sober, responsible people there were taking care of those who needed assistance,” he said.All drug paraphernalia seized in Minnie’s Deck was destroyed, Kromer said.”If there was a violent outbreak, then a decision could have been made to arrest the people,” Kromer said.Vail Mountain and the maze at the Vista Bahn Express chairlift are outside Vail town limits and thus under the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s office. Deputies arrested two people for trying to use someone else’s ski pass to ride the Vista Bahn up to the party, Kromer said.Vail police, who kept a heavy presence in Lionshead throughout Tuesday, arrested 16 people ranging in age from 20 to 29 years old, including three women. Eight of the people arrested were suspected of trying to use another person’s ski pass to ride up the gondola to get to the party.But the revelry didn’t get too far out of control, Vail police Sgt. Mike Knox.”It was a good day and everybody had a good time. I think there was a real party atmosphere because the weather was really nice,” Knox said. “And there were a lot of intoxicated people coming down the mountain.”A 23-year-old man who was arrested at last year’s BB&B was arrested again Tuesday, Knox said, for investigation of cocaine and marijuana possession>Last year he was arrested for allegedly throwing a snowball at a police officer, Knox said.Another 23-year-old man, who allegedly got into a fight, was arrested by Vail police on suspicion of assault, Knox said. Three others, ranging in age from 21 to 23, were charged with disorderly conduct, he said.Three other men were arrested by Vail police on outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court.To prevent the party from spilling into either Vail or Lionshead Village, many bars closed by 10 p.m. Tuesday night, Knox said.Kromer said the crowd on the mountain Tuesday seemed more interested in throwing snowballs than celebrating the end of the season.”I think it’s turned into more a snowball fight than a friendly gathering,” Kromer said. “It didn’t seem to me that people were just hanging out having fun like they used to. But the forts are getting more extensive.”The 18 arrests made Tuesday are two more than the 16 people who arrested during the last big bash in the village<the two performances by jam band String Cheese Incident at Dobson Ice Arena March 25 and 26.
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