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Mountain Mischief: Dead headlight leads to drunken driving arrest

Eagle Valley Enterprise
Vail, CO Colorado

Editor’s note: The following excerpts were taken from Eagle County law enforcement officers and police reports.

On March 7, a deputy saw a Dodge Durango turn onto U.S. Highway 6 in Avon. One of the vehicle’s headlights was out, and the deputy did a traffic stop.

When he contacted the 22-year-old driver, the deputy smelled a strong alcoholic odor on the man’s breath. The man also had bloodshot, watery eyes. The officer asked him four times where he was coming from before he could answer.



The deputy asked the man to perform voluntary roadside maneuvers, which he failed.

A half-empty can of beer was found between the driver and passenger seats. An empty 750 milliliter bottle of hard alcohol also was found on the floor behind the passenger seat. The man was taken into custody for further investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol.



A breath test indicated the man had a breath/alcohol content of .227. The legal limit is .08.

The man’s license was revoked, and he was cited for DUI and driving without a headlight.

On March 15, a 25-year-old Eagle-Vail resident called 911 after her boyfriend choked her in their apartment.



When deputies arrived, the boyfriend was gone. The woman said he was drunk and punched and strangled her.

They were waiting to catch a bus to Vail when the argument started, she said. Her boyfriend started yelling at her, so she went home. He continued yelling at her when he came home much later. The woman went to her room, and the man followed. He hit her in the arms and upper thigh and then choked her with both hands to the point where she couldn’t breathe. Then she went into the bathroom to get away. She said her boyfriend forced his way in, which knocked her into the glass shower door and knocked it off its track. The man threw her to the floor and choked her again, and she called 911 when he let her up.

Deputies took photographs of marks and scratches on the woman’s throat.

After several attempts, officers contacted the suspect by phone. He agreed to meet them at the Eagle-Vail substation.

The 25-year-old man said he and the woman are on the verge of breaking up. He said the argument started when he refused to take her to Vail to buy marijuana. Instead, he dropped her off at the bus stop and went home. His girlfriend came home and yelled at him, poking her finger into his chest. She pushed him and he pushed back, he said. They started “wrestling around,” and then he pushed her into the bathroom. He held the door closed and put his shoes on.

A deputy noticed marks on the man’s neck and asked how he got them. The man said it probably happened while they were “wrestling around.” However, he did not have an answer for how the woman received the marks on her neck.

The man was arrested for harassment and domestic violence.

Ten dead car batteries stacked outside the Avon NAPA store were stolen March 8.

This was the third time this had happened at the store. The batteries were going to be redeemed at a recycling facility for about $12 each and were stacked on a pallet in back of the store.

A surveillance camera recorded a dark-colored van pulling up next to the batteries. Two men got out and loaded them into the van. However, the video quality was poor and deputies couldn’t make out the license plate of the van.

Officers told the store manager that the Sheriff’s Office won’t take any more reports about such thefts if the store doesn’t make a better attempt to secure the dead batteries.

Eagle Police were called to a residence in town at around 6:30 p.m. March 26 on a report of an intoxicated driver leaving the home.

When the officer arrived, he spoke with the reporting party, who said she had been involved in a verbal argument with her roommate concerning missing medication. The woman said she has a prescription for Oxycodone, and earlier in the day, she had taken some of her medication before laying down to rest. When she woke up, she noticed that some of her pills appeared to be missing. She said she confronted her roommate about the missing medication and he angrily denied taking anything before he hurriedly left the residence.

Noting that the prescription had been filled on March 22 and taking into account the woman’s assertion that she has never taken more than eight pills in one day, the officer determined at least 41 pills were missing. Additionally, the woman had another prescription for an anxiety medication and, judging by the recommended dosage and the number of pills remaining in the bottle, the officer determined at least 40 pills were missing.

The woman noted she filed a report earlier in March when her sister observed the roommate searching through the apartment for medication and placing pills in his pants pocket.

While police were unable to locate the roommate’s car on March 26, officers reviewed the information from the two reports and after discussion with a district attorney, an arrest warrant was issued for the roommate on charges of prescription medication theft.

A employee from a downtown Eagle business reported someone stole a Louisiana license plate from his vehicle earlier this month

The man said his car was parked in the alley between Broadway and Capitol, and when he arrived at work the morning of March 7, the plate was on the car. However, when he returned to the vehicle around 4 p.m. that day, the plate was missing.

The theft was reported March 22 and Eagle Police entered the stolen license plate information into a national database.

Eagle Police were called to an apartment building in town March 24 when dispatch reported receiving a 911 call detailing how a woman was screaming for help with the sound of a door being kicked in.

When the officer arrived on the scene, he was greeted by a crying woman, described as “visibly shaken and very hysterical.” She reported the suspect in the case had left the residence.

While looking through the home, the officer noted a bathroom door was broken off at the hinge and was lying on the floor. The woman said the suspect had left the residence on foot.

The officer was able to catch up with the suspect at a nearby business. He was carrying two large bags. When approved, the man admitted that he lived at the residence in question and he was placed under arrest.

After hearing his Miranda rights, the man offered details of what had happened earlier. He said his girlfriend locked herself in the bathroom after he told her he was taking a trip to Colorado Springs. He said she was screaming to stop because she didn’t want him to leave. When questioned about any physical confrontation, the man said he pushed his girlfriend down.

When officers reviewed the audiotape of the 911 call, the man could be heard threatening to kick the bathroom door in if the woman refused to open it. He began a countdown from 10 and then could be heard breaking down the door. The woman becomes upset when the door gives way and the man then says “Call 911, you’re dead.” At that point the woman begins screaming for help.

The woman had visible bruising marks and a swollen lower left lip as a result of the incident.


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