By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
Alan Baxter, 20, became the state's worst babysitter in May when he was arrested after leaving a toddler in a locked car while he watched strippers at Shotgun Willie's. An employee of the nearby Fascinations adult store flagged down a cop after he spotted an unattended three-year-old girl in a car. Police said they found Baxter inside the strip club, drinking a beer and handing money to a topless dancer. He told them that the toddler was his girlfriend's daughter and that he was supposed to be taking her to McDonald's.
A ponytailed man claiming to be a "porn inspector" with the Longmont Police Department's "age-verification unit" tried three times to wrangle some free nudie flicks from a Longmont porn store in July. Each time, the man flashed a badge and a business card and asked to see several porn videos to verify the ages of the actresses, according to news reports. The clerks turned him down all three times. Longmont police commander Tim Lewis said his department doesn't have an "age-verification unit."
An unnamed Denver man was arrested in November and charged with stealing expensive wines from numerous liquor stores in Colorado and selling them on the Internet. Police first learned of the man from Tipsy's, where surveillance video showed him going into the store's wine cave and removing three $200 bottles of Peter Michael Les Pavots wine, putting them in a basket and putting three less expensive bottles in their place on the shelf. He later used Velcro and a back brace to wedge the bottles under his clothes, according to news reports. Police identified the man and raided his house, discovering 85 bottles of wine valued at $11,500.
A Westminster Girl Scout troop dealt with a crumby situation in February when a young couple used a counterfeit $100 bill to buy two boxes of cookies. The scouts, who were selling the sweets outside a King Soopers store, gave them $93.50 in change. The scam wiped out the troop's cookie profits for the day.
YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR HAT ON
In January, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported on a woman who planned to sue Mesa County for $100,000 after nude photos of her were supposedly passed around by deputies at the county jail. Jessica Duran had mailed the titillating pics to her husband, who was incarcerated there, but jailers opened the letter. Duran said her civil rights were violated and asked for the damages because of humiliation and emotional distress.
First, Kevin Lininger, 28, was questioned by police after neighbors said he'd been running up and down the street naked. Then the Arapahoe County man decided to pee on the floor of the police station and kick the puddles at officers. It was a one-one combination that landed him in jail for assault and indecent exposure.
Twelve people were cited for streaking on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall on Halloween night during the annual Pumpkin Run. Although it was funny when they were running around with nothing but pumpkins on their head, the threat of being labeled as sex offenders wasn't nearly as humorous. In December, Natalie Ziemba, 20, was allowed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct — a deal that prosecutors are likely to extend to the other pumpkin runners. A prosecutor in the case joked that Ziemba could also have "no contact with fruits or vegetables," the Daily Camera reported.
DUMB AND DUMBER
Daniel Vigil, 42, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for possessing the bronze pig statue known as "Sir" that had been taken from Grand Junction's Main Street. The statue was discovered in a stolen truck in which Vigil was living, according to the Denver Post. Sir was part of the city's Art on the Corner public art project. It was Vigil's fourth felony conviction, making him a habitual offender, according to the judge.
In January, the University of Colorado's mascot, Chip the buffalo, wore a gangsta-themed costume to a "kids' night" Nuggets basketball game in Denver. The outfit included a white T-shirt and baggy pants, a doo rag, fake gold teeth and a teardrop tattoo below one eye. In speaking with the Boulder Daily Camera, a CU spokesman called the outfit "insensitive, unfortunate and thoughtless" and said the students responsible were sorry.
It's tough to choose the right gang for your son, and a Commerce City couple got into such a heated argument about the subject that police had to intervene. According to police, Joseph Manzanares, 19, went to the video store where the mother of their four-year-old son works and caused a ruckus, knocking over displays and a computer and threatening to kill the woman. The two are in separate gangs, and "they have different ideas on how the baby should be raised," Commerce City police sergeant Joe Sandoval told the Denver Post. "Basically, she said they cannot agree on which gang the baby would 'claim.'" Manzanares later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
Dennis Klermund, 26, an employee of a Lakewood Del Taco, was cited for possession of marijuana after he put a small bag of pot inside a drive-thru customer's bag. The man called police after finding the surprise inside.