Man pleads guilty to Pitkin County campground attack
The Aspen Times
A Carbondale man who terrorized a random camper sleeping in his car this summer pleaded guilty Monday to felony menacing and drunken driving.
Garrett Hughes, 30, accepted a plea deal that will wipe the felony charge from his record provided he serves whatever sentence he receives without getting into any more trouble. He faces one to three years in prison for the felony plea. Hughes also faces up to a year in the Pitkin County Jail for pleading guilty to his third DUI charge.
“I believe I put fright or fear into a camper to the point he was possibly fearful for his life,” Hughes said when District Judge Chris Seldin asked him what he did to earn the felony menacing charge.
A 66-year-old man who was sleeping in his car June 11 at the Prince Creek Campground near Carbondale told a Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy that a man driving a blue truck entered his campsite about 4 a.m. and began “doing doughnuts,” honking the horn and flashing his headlights.
An hour later, the same truck returned and began doing the same thing, the man said, according to a police report. The victim told deputies that the driver, later identified as Hughes, grabbed him by the shoulders, though he was able to push him away and get ahold of his crossbow.
Hughes charged the man and ran his face into the crossbow, then told the 66-year-old man he had a 9mm handgun and was going to kill him, the report states. Hughes then drove away toward Highway 133, and the victim called the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and Carbondale police officers stopped Hughes about 5:30 a.m. and found an unloaded gun under the front seat, empty beer cans and a bong in the middle console, according to a police report.
Two Hispanic men with Hughes told officers they’d only met Hughes that night when he offered them a ride. The men said they had no idea why Hughes went after the camper and that they convinced him to leave the scene because they didn’t want to see anyone get killed, the report states.
Hughes and the 66-year-old victim did not know each other, a Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy later said.
Hughes is scheduled to be sentenced in February.
Eagle County Schools opens classes for around 6,800 public school students.