Target practice in hotel room prompts bizarre SWAT team standoff

Target practice using a bow and arrows isn't usually a problem. But there are exceptions. For instance, hoteliers will likely frown on anyone who takes aim inside a rented room, and they're even less apt to be understanding if the guest's response to a request to stop is threatening to kill anyone who gets in his way. Both of these incidents reportedly took place at a Steamboat Springs hotel early yesterday morning -- and they led to a SWAT team standoff.

At about 4:30 a.m., according to Steamboat Today, staff at the Ptarmigan Inn contacted the Steamboat Springs Police Department about a male guest allegedly causing a disturbance in an unusual way.

The man is said to have been shooting arrows inside his room, without the benefit of a standard target. The Denver Post maintains that he was aiming at the room's mattress, the bed's headboard and a pizza box stuffed with newspaper.

Proving that there are still uses for print publications.

Concerns about these actions were heightened by what is described as the man's highly intoxicated state and mental instability. Police say he claimed to be suicidal and pledged to skewer anyone who tried forcing him out of the room against his will

Law enforcers responded by clearing the fourth floor of the inn and calling in a negotiator to try and coax the man out. When that effort failed, a SWAT team was called in.

The standoff stretched on for hours. Finally, at around 8:45 a.m., officers managed to climb onto the hotel's balcony, open the doors and arrest the man before he harmed himself or anyone else.

The man was arrested on suspicion of reckless endangerment, third-degree trespass, obstructing a police officer and prohibited use of a weapon. But first priority was a mental health evaluation -- hence, the decision not to release his name at this time. When it comes to making his mark, however, his efforts were on target.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa August: "Videos: Joshua Jackson records SWAT team rap as SWAT team moves in."

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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