Vail Daily letter: More to story
Vail, CO Colorado
Regarding the recent trial of Doug Hill and articles in the paper, let me say this: It seems I have been on trial with-out the opportunity to defend myself.
Doug Hill’s accusations in the courtroom regarding “his road” and other matters need correction and clarification.
First, the road in question runs though my property as well as Hills. We both have easements that give us equal rights to all parts of the access road. It is not just his or just mine; it belongs to both of us.
Hill and I have an agreement that the road cannot be obstructed by either party. We both have the right of unin-terrupted access to our properties.
On the day Doug Hill was arrested, he was tearing up our common road ( going through his land and mine) with his back hoe. People visiting my property tried to leave and could not, so they asked me get the problem straightened out.
I went to the common easement road to find it was not passable. Hill had torn up almost the entire road at that point. He did this unilaterally without consulting me.
When I saw the mess he was mak-ing of the road, I called the Sheriff’s Office. I was not there when they actu-ally arrested him.
But this is not the first time there has been a problem.
In 2004, I went down the easement road to find Hill with a bulldozer, this time widening the road. Hill was on my property; there were no survey markers. When I tried to stop him to simply talk about the boundaries, he keep coming with the bulldozer and I had to get out of the way or get run over. He would not stop and talk to me. So I called the sheriff’s department.
This became a pattern of operation for Hill. He did what he pleased with-out concern for my property or rights. My only option was to call the sheriff’s department.
Hill tore up my water system with his backhoe when we had differences about water access and ownership. Again I called the sheriff. There was some talk about it being a civil matter and not in the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s department. Property dam-age to my mind is not a civil matter, but the deputy was anxious not to exacerbate the conflict and so he did not make an arrest.
Then Hill stopped my wife’s day care clients (and their kids ) from leav-ing the property by blocking the road with his truck. He said they didn’t have the right to be there after hours. The day care closed at 5:30 p.m. The moms and kids were on the road at 5:45 p.m. The moms were pretty upset when they got stopped.
After his arrest, Hill again blocked the road so my ex-wife couldn’t get through to pick up our kids. This time, she called the sheriff.
So, yes, the deputies have been here on our property several times.
I am speculating here, but I assume the deputies had seen enough to con-sider that Hill might have a temper problem and that he could be danger-ous when behind the controls of a big machine, which may explain why they made a no-nonsense arrest.
I know when I arrived at the arrest scene, one of the deputies was seri-ously shaken, saying something to the effect that he had been afraid he might get crushed inside his vehicle.
To my mind, the sheriff’s deputies acted carefully and conservatively and tried to find reasonable solutions in the above-mentioned events. If they were rough on Hill, it was for a good reason – the safety of all involved, including Hill.
– Roger Brown, Gypsum