High on LSD, man allegedly confronts and then assaults Rocky Mountain National Park ranger
A man under the influence of LSD was arrested Sunday after he allegedly got into a confrontation with and assaulted a park ranger inside Rocky Mountain National Park, spewing insults, threats and resisting arrest, according to local authorities.
A National Park Service law enforcement ranger responded at about 7:35 p.m. Sept. 10 to a report of a vehicle partially parked on the roadway along Highway 34, near the Ohahu and Green Mountain trailheads, inside the park. A man was found sitting in the passenger seat having “some type of episode,” according to a criminal complaint filed Sept. 12 with the U.S. District Court in Denver.
According to the complaint, the ranger approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and observed a 28-year-old white male cursing, screaming and hitting the window and windshield with his fists. The ranger then requested an ambulance to the location to help with the situation, fearing that the man was under the influence of drugs or having a psychotic episode.
The complaint stated that the man then jumped out of the vehicle and began running away from the ranger, ignoring instructions to stop and return. After running about 50 yards, the man stopped and began walking back towards the ranger, shouting threats.
The man continued to approach the ranger with his fists balled near his face, in what the ranger identified as a fighting stance, according to the complaint. The ranger attempted to subdue the man with his Taser, though it did not fire. The ranger then punched the man in the face, struck him twice on the left leg with his service baton and was finally able to subdue him.
About 10 minutes after the start of the confrontation, another ranger arrived and the subject was placed under arrest. The man was then transported to Middle Park Medical Center in Granby to relieve his drug intoxication.
The man has been charged with assault, impeding or resisting a federal officer.
Following the incident, the rangers located the driver of the vehicle the man was originally seen in. The driver indicated that he and the man had been hiking on the Colorado River Trail when the man told him that he had ingested LSD, a powerful psychedelic drug, and that the man also assaulted him.
The driver told rangers that he had been driving when the man, sitting in the passenger seat, began hitting him on the shoulder, and eventually put him in a chokehold. The driver was able to stop the car and free himself. He pepper sprayed the man in the face, flagged down another vehicle for help and took off.