Even if Roaring Fork Valley resident Benjamin Levy, thirty, wasn't one of Colorado's most frequently arrested men, his latest bust, for a drunken scooter crash, would still stand out, since the incident injured his passenger and left his face looking like an order of steak tartare. But while his actions certainly qualify him for nomination as our latest Schmuck of the Week, we reserve that honor for a criminal-justice system that has allowed him to break law after law over a period of years without finding a way to prevent him from harming himself and others.
Granted, it's mighty difficult to help someone with addiction issues, which Levy appears to have, if they don't want to help themselves. But Levy's story suggests that the series of wrist slaps he's sustained over at least the past four years has clearly not set him on a different path.
An August 2016 Aspen Times piece lays out many of Levy's previous encounters with The Man. The paper cities an October 2013 arrest for driving under the influence, as well as firing a shot inside his Woody Creek residence that sent a bullet into a neighbor's apartment; two May 2014 cuffings for theft; two June 2014 beefs for DUI and harassment, respectively; a July 2014 protection-order transgression; and a September 2014 booking for tampering with a theft alarm on an item at a Glenwood Springs Target store.
Moreover, the Times revealed that Levy was the subject of at least seven open cases, including three probation violations, when he was taken into custody for possession of heroin after being found unconscious next to a hypodermic needle last August 9th.
Somehow, though, Levy was unconfined on August 5 of this year and had enough spending money to purchase a new scooter — which he clearly didn't know how to handle very well. According to the Aspen Daily News, he subsequently lost control of the two-wheeler on the way to a pool hall and skidded 76 feet off the highway. His roommate, who was riding with him, lacerated one leg and broke a wrist in the process, while Levy's mug shot, reproduced at the top of this post, shows scrapes from his hairline to his yap.
A blood-alcohol-level test found Levy registering 0.086, above the legal intoxication limit of 0.08, and he's also said to have had marijuana in his system. Yet he was still with it enough to realize that speaking to authorities in his condition wasn't a good idea.
In a report accessed by the Daily News, a Pitkin County deputy who responded to the scene wrote, "I attempted to speak with Mr. Levy, who immediately pretended to be asleep when I asked him questions. Mr. Levy was talking with hospital staff before my arrival. I attempted to ask Mr. Levy questions, and he would just groan and pretend to be asleep."
Whether authorities have been sleeping on Levy's situation is another question. He's certainly facing serious charges this time around, including felony drunk driving and vehicular assault, and they could put him away for a significant stretch. Meanwhile, he's free on a $2,500 bond.
If he does something else dangerous while he's on the loose, he's obviously a schmuck. But would he be the biggest one?