By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
Dave Lawrence, who manages the Park Centre Lounge, a Westminster karaoke bar, is perplexed. "I guess you could call it that. If you want to get technical...I mean, most guys in a bar would kind of like that sort of thing."
Nonetheless, that's the charge listed on a Westminster police report. On February 4 officers had gone to the bar in response to a complaint that a man had been sexually assaulted.
Or, as the Westminster police report explains: "This (blank) subject complimented the subjects on their singing abilities and then stated that they were wondering if (blank). (Blank) said that (blank) has a very high voice and was very young and (blank) believed this was why this (blank) subject was asking these questions."
"This (blank) subject stated that (blank) believed that (blank) was a (blank) and did not have a (blank)."
"(Blank) subject" apparently decided to check. And soon after, Linda Schumaker was charged with third-degree sexual assault.
The Park Centre was crowded and noisy the night of February 4. The alleged victim, a man wearing a cowboy hat who looked to be in his twenties, was there with a girlfriend, Lawrence remembers.
Lawrence also recalls having seen Linda Schumaker and her husband before. "They used to come in all the time, although we haven't seen them since," Lawrence says, adding that on the night in question, "the gal was having fun; she was kind of frisky."
The cowboy-hatted man had just finished his singing and was stepping down from the stage when Schumaker and her male companion complimented him on his singing. They remarked on his high voice. A tussle of a private nature ensued.
Or, as the police report sums it up: "The (blank) then told (blank) wanted to know if (blank) was a (blank) or a (blank)."
Although Lawrence doesn't remember much about the singer's initial reaction to the encounter, he recalls that the girlfriend seemed put out. "She came up to me and said, 'What are you going to do about it?'" he says. "And I said, 'Well, it's not like rape is going on here. I'm not going to do anything about it. Go ahead and call the police if you want to, and file a report.'"
Which she did.
Getting a look at the report, however, is another matter. Adams County assistant district attorney Steven Bernard admits that his department has a file that seems to combine the necessary elements of karaoke, a high-voiced man and an assault that might be construed as sexual. But, he explains, the karaoke incident is part of a serious ongoing investigation and thus is not available for public consumption. He does reluctantly reveal, however, that the DA's investigation is in response to a Westminster Police Department case.
Yes, agrees Westminster city attorney Martin McCullough, the police department is aware of a karaoke-high-voiced-man-sexual-assault incident. But after checking with the Adams County District Attorney's office, which he says informed him it was an ongoing investigation, he declines to release the report.
After Westword points out that this violates the state's open-records law, McCullough changes his mind and faxes the report. Thanks to the police department's enthusiastic editing, the document looks like a cross between a grudgingly declassified CIA file and a notepad that has gone through the wash.
After Westword points out that such close editing also seems a glaring violation of Colorado's open-records laws, McCullough faxes a second, more legible version of the police report. It states that when the alleged victim finished singing, he was "approached by a subject described as a white male, approximately six feet tall, heavy set with a beer belly and brown shoulder-length hair, wearing glasses. He told (blank) that his wife wanted to know if (blank) was a man or a girl.
"This female approached (blank) and stated, 'How big is it? What does it look like?' She then reached down with her hand and grabbed (blank) in the genital area, grabbing his penis in the process.
"The first and second time the female grabbed (blank) she immediately let go; however, on the third time this female squeezed (blank)'s penis area and (blank) stated he suffered pain.
"(Blank) appeared emotionally upset," the police report concludes.
Schumaker and her husband drove away in a silver Cadillac. Neither Schumaker nor (blank) could be reached for comment. According to the Adams County District Attorney's office, the investigation is ongoing.