Minturn incident draws SWAT team
September 6, 2012
MINTURN, Colorado – Area law enforcement officers responded in force to the apartments behind the Turntable restaurant Thursday after a resident there barricaded himself into his room. The incident ended with the man in custody and no injuries.
Just before 2:15 p.m. the emergency dispatch center in Vail received a 911 call about a man acting suspiciously. When Minturn police arrived at the scene, they recognized the suspect, who had been charged in July with assaulting a Minturn police officer and an Eagle County sheriff’s deputy, and called for help. By the time members of the Eagle County Special Operations Unit arrived, the man had barricaded himself inside his apartment.
A negotiator from the team talked to the man, who left his apartment without police going in after him. The man was taken into custody at about 4 p.m.
The incident only lasted a couple of hours, but closed the road between the Saloon Restaurant and the hillside neighborhood across the railroad tracks. A school bus from Red Sandstone Elementary School was turned around at the Saloon restaurant and sent back to school with the students aboard.
Even with the suspect in custody and sitting in a police car, curious kids on bikes were turned away from the Turntable parking lot until the officers – and suspect – left.
Judy Trujillo lives at the apartments and works at the Turntable. She was told to leave the area when officers arrived. Waiting for the all-clear to go back home, Trujillo said the suspect has lived at the apartments for several years, and until recently had been a quiet neighbor.
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Bruce Plummer, a bartender at the Saloon, wondered aloud why he couldn’t get from the bridge to his job, but was philosophical about it.
“We don’t have any customers now anyway,” he said.
Plummer said he knows the suspect. Waiting for the go-ahead to go to work, Plummer also described the suspect as quiet, but said the man had gotten into an argument earlier this summer that drew the police.
While described as quiet, Trujillo said the suspect’s mental state had seemed to deteriorate over the past few months.
With the Turntable parking lot full of police cars and heavily armed officers, Minturn police clerk Lisa Osborne said the incident came at an unusual time.
“We just had a meeting on incident command this morning,” Osborne said.
Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.