Crime

Christian Guitierrez, Christopher Bagnall accused of destroying Boulder tulips

At this writing, the most viewed Boulder Daily Camera article involves Christian Eduardo Guitierrez and Christopher James Bagnall II, 26-year-olds ticketed for allegedly picking, stomping or otherwise destroying tulips on the Pearl Street Mall. It's a uniquely Boulder story -- one that involves civic pride, possible drunkenness and even some alleged race-baiting.

According to the Camera, cops were called early Saturday after witnesses noticed Guitierrez and Bagnall going after the mall's trademark tulips with extreme prejudice. And they appear to have done a very thorough job with their anti-floral tirade. Police said tulips were damaged in every flower box for about two blocks -- from1237 to 1420 Pearl.

Guitierrez and Bagnall were "visibly drunk" according to statements in a police report that ends with their ticketing for destruction of public property. But they didn't fess up to this crime -- at least not beyond Guitierrez saying he'd plucked three tulips to give to a woman with a "pretty smile." As for Bagnall, cops said he was less than kind when talking about a witness identified as Agbeli Kwaku Ameko, a 35-year-old from Ghana, labeling him an "African" in an allegedly derogatory tone and needling him for getting "so angry about the tulips."

Ameko's not the only one upset. Folks from Boulder's parks and recreation department are equally unhappy, as are gardeners in charge of the Pearl Street display -- and no wonder, since they've spent the past several days replanting new tulips.

The flowers may not have directly contributed to Boulder being named the happiest American city last year. But the reaction to the alleged tulip assassination spree speaks volumes.

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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