Steamboat Springs A former Colorado Mountain College freshman was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for his involvement in the theft of a city ambulance.
Ryan David Tomkinson, 18, also was fined $300 and was put on one year of probation by Routt County Judge James Garrecht for the Aug. 27 incident.
"I do not know where you left your brain that night," Garrecht said to Tomkinson, who is from Longmont. "I do not know too many people that would jump in an ambulance."
Tomkinson was with Jared Wayne Maynard, 20, when the two students decided to get into an ambulance that had responded to a CMC residence hall Aug. 27. During a brief and reportedly drunken joyride, in which Maynard was the driver and Tomkinson the passenger, a paramedic and a man being treated for a cut head were in back of the ambulance. During the incident, Maynard allegedly grabbed paramedic Jeanne Power by her throat as she tried to stop the ambulance.
Maynard has been charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors.
On Aug. 29, Tomkinson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft in a plea agreement.
Although Tomkinson did not drive the vehicle or participate in the assault, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James argued that he be sentenced to 30 days in jail.
"It was not a prank," St. James said. "To get in an ambulance with a live patient in back goes beyond a college prank."
Prior to the sentencing, Tomkinson wrote a letter apologizing to Power, who attended the court hearing.
Tomkinson wrote that if he would have known Maynard's intention he would have never got in the ambulance.
Tomkinson got in the ambulance because he thought Maynard was checking to see if a friend who was being treated was OK, he said after the hearing.
"I did not know what his intentions were," Tomkinson said of Maynard. "Since this happened, I have been in shock."
Tomkinson, who was dressed neatly in jeans and a polo shirt, and his mother, Kathy Tomkinson, were surprised that he received jail time.
Kathy Tomkinson blamed her son's sentence on St. James' "twist" of the facts.
"He is a cold and cruel man," she said of St. James. "He did not want justice. He wanted a hanging."
During his argument, St. James pointed out that Tomkinson did not try to stop Maynard, ran from the scene and hid in his dormitory room. He also argued Tomkinson's action put Power and the patient in danger.
"They should have never been put in danger," he said. "They did not take another student's vehicle. It had ambulance written all over it."
Tomkinson's attorney, Norm Townsend, argued that his client did not deserve jail time.
"This was Ryan's first night away from home," Townsend said. "There is no doubt he made a few poor choices that night. He is genuinely sorry."
Townsend also argued that Tomkinson has no prior criminal record and is no longer enrolled at CMC.
"He has been suspended from school and he lost his tuition and room and board money," he said. "This has been a big price for him to pay."
To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail email@example.com