Cameron Boll, CU student: Did booze or head injury cause bizarre freakout?

Cameron Boll, a nineteen-year old CU student, was allegedly drunk last week when he used concrete to smash the top of a Boulder Police car.

But at this point, Boulder Police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley doesn't know whether to attribute his later behavior -- which included calling paramedics "Communists" and "Nazis" and trying to chew off a neck restraint -- to booze or to a head injury he may have suffered by bashing into a fence during a comically futile escape attempt.

It's quite a tale. Here's how she tells it:

"We were out on Friday at around 12:50 a.m. responding to a complaint of a nuisance party on the 1100 block of 10th," she says, adding that "a nuisance party starts with noise, but in order to be designated a nuisance party, there has to be some other violation -- which in this case was issuing summonses for underage drinking on top of the noise."

While one officer was handling paperwork, Huntley goes on, another cop "looked across the street and saw a man standing to the south of a parked patrol vehicle holding a large piece of concrete over his head -- and he threw or dropped the concrete onto the rear roof of the patrol vehicle," scratching the roof, cracking the light bar and doing an estimated $500 to $1,000 damage to the car.

At that point, Huntley says, "he began to run, and the officer who had seen him yelled at him to stop and began to chase him on foot. The suspect turned a corner, at which point the officer briefly lost sight of him. And as the officer turned the corner a short time later, he found the suspect lying on the ground next to a fence. This was in an area alongside a house that was very poorly lit, so it appeared to the officer that the suspect may have run into the fence."

Boll, the suspect, was lying on his back, not moving," Huntley notes. "He was breathing and his eyes were open, but fixed and unblinking."

According to Huntley, these conditions raised the prospect of a head injury. So the officers cuffed Boll with his hands in front, so as not to jostle him unnecessarily, and called for an ambulance. By the time it arrived, "the suspect was more communicative" -- although that may not have been a good thing: "He began being very verbally aggressive, using profanity and calling the paramedics and fire personnel 'Communists' and 'Nazis.' And he also became physically combative. He was placed on a back board, but he began to struggle violently in an attempt to get free of the restraints. During the ambulance ride, he managed to get his mouth around to the chin area of a neck brace paramedics had put on him and was attempting to chew through it."

The police report states that Boll continued this mad-dog routine at the hospital, where numerous staffers had to restrain him.

At this point, Boll has been written up for criminal mischief, obstructing a peace officer and underage possession of alcohol. On top of smelling like alcohol, he reportedly had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech -- but as of now, Huntley can't say definitively "whether the profanity and the struggling subsequent to him running was as a result of the alcohol or a head injury. We had probable cause for obstruction of a peace officer based on him running, but beyond that, the prosecutors will have to determine."

Figuring out how the same emergency personnel could be both Communists and Nazis will be a bigger challenge.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts