Video shows drunken Snowmass Councilman damaging jail cell
Snowmass Village Town Councilman Chris Jacobson was charged with felony criminal mischief Wednesday for causing thousands of dollars in damage to the Pitkin County Jail after he was arrested for drunken driving nearly two weeks ago.
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VIDEO: See surveillance video above, courtesy of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Jacobson, 50, allegedly tore off sections of a rubberized wall in the jail’s isolation cell, exposing electrical wiring, and damaged lights in the cell, causing between $14,000 and $15,000 in damage, said Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo.
“I had no idea it was going to be this dollar amount,” DiSalvo said Wednesday.
The criminal mischief charge is a Class 5 felony, meaning the damage was between $1,000 and $20,000, he said.
In addition to the damage, Jacobson cussed out officers who placed him in a restraint chair and later rocked the chair so strongly it broke away from metal clasps bolted to the floor, according to a police report. He also peed on the floor, the report states.
DiSalvo said Wednesday the restraint chair was not damaged.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office informed Jacobson’s attorney, Arnold Mordkin, of the warrant Wednesday and asked him to have Jacobson turn himself in and post a $2,500 bond, DiSalvo said. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, he had not yet done so, according to the jail’s website. DiSalvo said Jacobson had until Thursday morning to present himself at the jail.
Messages left Wednesday for Jacobson and Mordkin seeking comment were not returned.
A Snowmass Village police officer pulled Jacobson over a little after midnight June 26 after seeing his car weaving and swerving into the oncoming lane of Brush Creek Road, according to a police report. Jacobson failed roadside sobriety tests and was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to jail. He refused blood and breath alcohol tests.
DiSalvo said the cell that was damaged will take three weeks to repair because new rubber panels must be installed and they have to cure.
“I was just disappointed that somebody would do that,” the sheriff said. “But, also, it’s a jail, and people act out in jail.”
Jacobson cursed repeatedly at officers during the ride to jail and while he was at the facility, then repeatedly kicked the cell door, threw his mattress at the door and banged on the walls and door, according to a video of his incarceration released Wednesday by the county.
Still photos taken of the damage released Wednesday show the exposed wires and the portions of the rubber panels torn off the cell wall.
Jacobson was elected to a four-year term on the Snowmass Town Council in 2012. He has not yet said publicly if he plans to resign. Snowmass Village Town Manager Clint Kinney said there’s no legal requirement that he resign because of the DUI charge.
However, the Snowmass Village Town Charter states that if a member of the council is convicted of a felony charge, the person will be automatically kicked out of office. The rest of the council members would choose an interim replacement, who would serve until the next municipal election, according to the charter.
Snowmass Village Mayor Markey Butler said Wednesday she hadn’t yet heard about the felony charge and declined to comment.
Jacobson is due back in Pitkin County court July 28. He is not allowed to consume alcohol or drugs, he cannot drive and he must participate in a substance monitoring program, according to the conditions of his bond.