Disturbance at Aspen gondola leads to arrest
ASPEN – Prosecutors are considering whether to charge a Chicago man for assault on a police officer after he allegedly head butted a deputy following his arrest at Aspen’s Gondola Plaza.
Witold K. Zajac, 31, was arrested in the early evening hours of Dec. 30 after law enforcement officials reported to the base of Aspen Mountain for a complaint of criminal mischief in one of the buckets on the Silver Queen Gondola. When deputies arrived, Zajac already had paid $200 to Skico officials for damage he inflicted on a gondola car in which he had been riding, said Pitkin County Undersheriff Joe DiSalvo.
With the civil matter apparently settled, the matter erupted into a criminal case when sheriff’s Deputy Dustin Gray and Aspen Police Officer Dave Rosselot arrived on the scene, according to an arrest narrative report by Gray.
“When [Rosselot] and I stepped between Witold [Zajac] … he began yelling at his wife [and] Witold said, ‘I’ll shoot you’ and then ‘I’ll f—ing kill you.’ I placed Witold under arrest. Witold resisted while being handcuffed as well as when he was transported to a patrol car,” the report says. “While restraining Witold in a patrol car, he headbutted me.”
Zajac has yet to be formally charged. Court documents show he faces a class-three felony assault on an officer charge, which carries a mandatory four years in the state department of corrections if he’s convicted.
Other pending charges include misdemeanor counts of menacing and resisting arrest.
Gray declined to comment about the incident. Assistant District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said he is not sure what charges to file.
“We’re investigating it,” Mordkin said. “That’s all I can say.”
Zajac, who works for a construction company in Chicago, posted $1,750 bond on Dec. 31, and has since returned to Chicago. His first court appearance is scheduled Jan. 24.
As a condition of his bond, a mandatory protection order is in place that prohibits Zajac from having any type of contact with Gray.
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