City police keep busy on New Year's Eve

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The Steamboat Springs Police Department was busy responding to fights and disorderly partygoers New Year's Eve, leaving no time for DUI enforcement.

The police department arrested five men on suspicion of assault or menacing in the early morning hours of New Year's Day, and not a single person was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

"We didn't even have time to conduct traffic stops. We were going to call to call to call," Police Sgt. Dale Coyner said.

The department increased its patrol officers for the night to five. It typically has three or four officers on duty at night.

"We know New Year's Eve and Fourth of July are typically very busy. We try to put as much man power out there as we can," Coyner said.

The arrests involved one man suspected of making bomb threats to a nightclub in Ski Time Square, a fight that broke out on a city bus, a man who was suspected of verbally assaulting clerks at a hotel, and a man who was suspected of physically assaulting a relative.

In all but one case, Coyner said, alcohol had been a factor.

Clifford Charles Heltzel, 31, of Steamboat Springs, was arrested early Saturday morning after he allegedly called Levelz, a bar in Ski Time Square, with a bomb threat, Coyner said. Heltzel reportedly was highly intoxicated and thrown out of the bar earlier that night. He somehow managed to make it back to his home on Routt County Road 14, Coyner said, and then called in a bomb threat.

The employees at Levelz then contacted police. The police were on scene and took a second alleged phone call from Heltzel, who then said he was going to come to Levelz with a sawed-off shotgun, Coyner said.

After the second phone call, police determined the bomb threat was not serious and dispatched a Routt County Sheriff's Deputy to the man's home. While the sheriff's deputy was en route to Heltzel's residence, he made a third phone call from his home, Coyner said.

Without a struggle, the sheriff's deputy arrested Heltzel on suspicion of felony menacing.

At about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, a fight was reported on a city bus near the Gondola Transit Center. When police arrived, they arrested Brandon Stuart Cook, 22, of Steamboat Springs, on suspicion of third-degree assault, criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

At about 1 a.m., police received a call that a man had come into the lobby of the Holiday Inn in the 3100 block of Lincoln Avenue and was yelling obscenities and making verbal threats. The man matched the description of the other man who was involved in the fight on the bus and left the scene before police arrived, Coyner said.

Police asked the man, Barrett Anthony Murphy, 24, of Steamboat Springs, to leave the hotel. When the man refused to leave, the police attempted to escort him out of the lobby. At that point, the man began to struggle, and one officer thought Murphy was going to punch him.

Murphy was taken to the ground, handcuffed and transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center for treatment of a cut on his head that resulted from the scuffle.

After treatment, Murphy was taken to the Routt County Jail and booked on suspicion of menacing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Jay Lester Campbell, 41, of Steamboat Springs, also was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of menacing and harassment. Police received reports that Campbell allegedly was threatening a woman with a dangerous weapon at a residence in the White Haven Trailer Park.

Late Friday night, police were called to condominiums in the 2000 block of Walton Creek Road for a fight. Gregory Allen Weaver, 43, of Cordova, Ala, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault after allegedly hitting a relative during a family argument.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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