A well-known figure in the Aspen area, Peter Nardi previously ran an eatery named for him and is currently the day manager and bartender at a local restaurant. But these days, he's making news well outside the foodie realm. Nardi's been accused of a sex assault involving a woman with whom he was once involved; she says he brutalized her for an entire night, including stuffing underwear down her throat. He publicly declared his innocence after being released -- but he's since been arrested again, for allegedly violating his bond by having a drink. Details below.
The Aspen Daily News detailed the charges against Nardi in an April article. At about 12:40 a.m. on April 6, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the paper, the woman with whom Nardi had been involved for eight months or so -- and who says they'd broken up -- returned home after a night out with friends to find him in her living room.
Nardi is said to have immediately started questioning her about who she'd been with. But rather than responding, she walked toward her bedroom, hopeful that he wouldn't explode if she ignored him. Instead, the affidavit maintains, he followed her into the room and began removing her clothes -- and when she attempted to resist, he pushed her into a wall, dragged her down a hallway by her hair and said he'd kill her if she tried to get away.
After that, Nardi allegedly tossed her on her bed. covered her face with a pillow and punched her until she lost consciousness. After that, the woman said Nardi sexually assaulted her (he's thought to have digitally penetrated her, as opposed to intercourse), forced water from a plastic water bottle up her nose and into her mouth, and jammed his underwear down her throat, causing her to choke.
Afterward, the police report says Nardi threatened the woman against calling the cops, but she did so anyhow, prompting his arrest near the Aspen Airport Business Center that afternoon.
Afterward, bond for Nardi was set at $400,000, which the Daily News describes as a record amount for Aspen Valley. But this amount was subsequently lowered to a much more modest $2,500 because of what were described by the Aspen Times as "new findings."
As for Nardi, he spoke to the Times in early May to proclaim his innocence of the charges against him. While conceding that he was "no angel," he maintained that he was a gentleman at heart -- the kind of guy who opened doors for women rather than hurting them.
In contrast, he said his accuser had been physically hostile toward him, but he'd stayed with her out of love -- at least until the 6th, when he claimed she blew up at him for telling her two kids, ages twelve and fourteen, that she'd recently been busted for driving under the influence.
"She started punching me in the chest and stepped back and clocked me in the mouth," Nardi he told the papers -- and although he admitted to holding her wrist and pushing her away by the throat in self-defense, he otherwise characterized the rest of her tale as "crazy, made-up stuff."
Nonetheless, local prosecutors are continuing to pursue the case against Nardi, who's now been hit with more legal problems.
The J-Bar is a watering hole located inside Aspen's tony and venerable Hotel Jerome -- and on May 31, the Times reports that the woman who Nardi is accused of assaulting was inside when a patron told her something unsettling: Nardi was there, too.
The woman left without seeing Nardi, but she called the police to let officers know he was present in apparent violation of his bond orders, which preclude him from having any contact with her and nix alcohol consumption.
By the time the cops arrived at the J-Bar, Nardi was long gone. However, a bartender said he'd downed a couple of cocktails.
In a phone conversation with police, Nardi denied drinking. But yesterday -- his 51st birthday -- he was arrested anyhow on a bond-violation beef.
Look below to see a larger version of Nardi's booking photo.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Marijuana bust: Ohio students headed to Aspen arrested for possession."