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Strange but True

Rampaging bears! Rampaging Buffs! Criminals in the buff! It happened here... unfortunately.

Panel Inquiry

In November, the Rocky Mountain News ran a "The Prickly City" comic strip that included a website address that led readers to a porn site.

Well, Can't We All

In October, state senator Ron Tupa, a Democrat from Boulder, was arrested outside the Giggling Grizzly, a LoDo frat-boy bar, after he ignored a warning to calm down and go home. Tupa, who'd been and arguing with a friend in front of the bar, reportedly told a Denver cop that he could "say Œfuck' as loud as he wanted." Although Tupa was charged with interfering with a police officer and disobeying a lawful order, both misdemeanors, the charges were later dropped. Fuckin-A!

Is That a Trick or a Treat?

A 23-year-old Boulder man was arrested for reportedly handing out pornographic DVDs to two thirteen-year-old boys who came to his door on Halloween night.

Say Cheese

In June, a man broke into a hotel room shared by two teenage girls and used their cameras to take pictures of his penis, which he photographed on top of their drinking cups, bottles and food. The girls had left their cameras at the Broker Inn while they attended cheerleading camp at the University of Colorado; four other cheerleaders staying in the hotel also found their cameras filled with pictures of the unidentified shutterbug.

At Least It Wasn't a Washcloth

In May, Marilyn Ranson, a former employee of Paladin Press, won a $100,000 sexual-harassment verdict against the company and its 62-year-old president, Peder Lund. In court, Lund admitted that he sometimes walked around the office wearing only a towel.

The Young and the Restless

In June, a teenage boy stole a Mile Hi Frozen Foods semi while its driver made a delivery in Capitol Hill. The young driver smashed the truck into eight cars before crashing it on Logan Street.

In January, a thirteen-year-old boy was arrested in connection with a string of break-ins that caused $250,000 in damage to businesses in southeast Denver. At the American Oil & Gas Building on Hampden Avenue, according to police, the young vandal had spilled cognac, smeared blood and left a scrawled message that read, "She's cute and sexy as hell. I want her tomorrow by 8 p.m. or everybody will die." The cute, sexy girl was not identified. Two weeks earlier, a prowler had broken into the same building and spent 22 minutes surfing porn sites on a company computer.

In July, panicked passengers at an Englewood light-rail stop feared they were in the presence of a gun-wielding sniper when their chests and foreheads lit up with bright-red dots. The target-like orbs were actually caused by a pair of brothers -- one eighteen, one fifteen -- who were packing a laser pointer.

In February, a fifteen-year-old Grand Junction girl was charged in an $88,000 bank robbery that included three bomb threats.

And the Young at Heart

In May, a federal jury convicted a 72-year-old Denver man of depositing a $79,000 counterfeit check at a Norwest bank.

Two men, ages 64 and 58, were hospitalized in February with smoke inhalation and minor burns after they detonated an illegal, military-style smoke grenade in the Cherry Creek Place apartments in southeast Denver.

Who Can It Be Now?

In August, a Denver man pretending to be a police officer drove a white Chevy Suburban with its emergency lights on and led a high-speed chase of a suspected thief. While applying for a bank loan earlier, he had claimed to be a SWAT officer.

A 58-year-old man stole the identity of his 82-year-old landlord, a female who is believed to have died in the southwest Denver home they shared. When a concerned neighbor came looking for the old woman, the man answered the door in a raspy voice and claimed that he was she -- with a bad case of laryngitis. Later, he used the same voice to talk to a neighbor on the phone for two hours. The formerly homeless man died in July, when the house caught fire and burned to the ground.

An Aurora man arrested in June for sexual assault was also charged with impersonating a doctor. He had previously posed as a chiropractor, a massage therapist and a cosmetologist.

Things Vandalized

• More than a hundred pumpkins in a Highlands Ranch pumpkin patch.

• Eighty headstones at Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins.

• St. Catherine of Siena Church in Burlington, where an intruder pushed over a Christ figure, spilled communion water, ripped up prayer books and set fire to the pews.

• Walls, signs and windows at West, Lincoln and Kennedy high schools, hit by a tag-banging crew called the Evil Mind Society.

• The Democratic Party headquarters on Santa Fe Drive, which was sprayed with the phrase "Bigger cages; longer chains." The vandals also left a large "A" with a circle around it, leading Dems to conclude the work was done by anarchists.

Well, He Must Love Fire

In April, volunteer firefighter Austin Mayo was sentenced to nine years in prison for setting four fires in the Fort Collins area, including a blaze that destroyed the 123-year-old Virginia Dale Community Church. Three days before Mayo set the first fire, the Livermore Fire Department named him Firefighter of the Year.

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