Stabbing may have involved race

Victim considers leaving Steamboat Springs after incident

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— An alleged stabbing at a Steamboat Springs bar on Friday is the subject of an ongoing investigation, and police say the crime may have been racially motivated.

The incident occurred Friday night at Sunpie's Bistro on Yampa Street. The victim, Alfred Turner, said he was talking and flirting with two women when a man confronted him and told him to "leave our white women alone." Turner, who is black, said the man who confronted him referred to himself as a Nazi.

Turner said he and the other man, who is white, then got into a physical altercation. Turner said the man hit him repeatedly with a beer bottle and stabbed him several times in the thigh. Turner said he doesn't know whether he was stabbed with a knife, a broken beer bottle or some other object.

The incident occurred at about 10 p.m. Turner said he was sober and had just ordered his first drink. He said he was at the bar for only about 15 minutes when the incident occurred.

Turner said a Sunpie's bouncer called a taxi to take him to the hospital, where he received about 20 stitches and was released. Turner, a truck driver, said he has not returned to work since the incident because of numbness in the leg that was stabbed.

Police communications records show that Sunpie's owner Michael Miller reported the assault at 11:08 p.m. Friday. Miller declined to comment about the incident while police are conducting their investigation.

Steamboat Springs police Det. Jerry Stabile said no arrests have been made, but that police are continuing to interview witnesses. Stabile said police have identified a suspect who is a white male who lives and works in Steamboat.

He described the incident as an altercation and an assault and said Turner was not the primary aggressor. While race appears to be an element in the case, Stabile stopped short of calling it a hate crime.

"I think it's too early to tell the motivation," Stabile said.

If the assault is deemed a hate crime, Stabile said it would allow for the pressing of additional charges such as ethnic intimidation. An incident report of the assault was not available Monday.

Turner said he has lived in Steamboat for more than a month. Turner, who previously worked in a Grand Junction oil field, said he chose to move to Steamboat because the community reminded him of his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Turner said he had not previously experienced any discrimination in Steamboat, but Friday's incident has made him consider leaving.

Comments

seeuski 7 years, 5 months ago

Hey Turner, Steamboat is too good of a place for you to feel that way. This scumbag nazi that attacked you should be exposed and live as the pariah of the community and hopefully the judge on the case will put him away for many years, no mercy. The Sunpies owner should of sat on this guy until cops arrived.

You have many unmet friends here.

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annonymous 7 years, 5 months ago

I hope Mr. Turner won't let the actions of one individual cause him to consider leaving Steamboat. Diversity enriches and adds dimension to our community. If anyone needs to leave Steamboat, it is the attacker.

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Scott Stanford 7 years, 5 months ago

All:

I am seeking feedback on anonymity and comments posted on the Web site. Please let me know your thoughts:

http://www2.steamboatpilot.com/weblogs/from-the-editor/2007/jul/10/comments-and-anonymity/

Scott Stanford Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today editor@steamboatpilot.com (970) 871-4221/(970) 291-9278

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thecondoguy1 7 years, 5 months ago

P.S. Scott, how is your mom? we continue to wish her the best......

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OnTheBusGus 7 years, 5 months ago

There is no place for this kind of behaviour in our community. It is simply uncalled for. The attacker should indeed be made a pariah!

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dave reynolds 7 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Turner Please stay..one bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch...When my daughter was 6 we lived in a racially diverse community hispanics,african americans, and oriental..one day she asked me why they have different colored skin..I told her..thats the way GOD wants them to be but that they are no different from me or you..the reason thier skin is a different color is because of pigmentation of their genes..she is now 13 and keeps in touch with all of those kids she spent her younger years with..not everybody here is like those losers you happened to have ran into..they are ignorant and full of hate I would imagine for themselves..please decide to stay for I'm sure our community will be just a litle bit better because of you..get well soon we will pray for you....hope the D A decides to fry these two wastes of life..GOD BLESS you Mr TURNER

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sickofitall 7 years, 5 months ago

It took the owner about 1 hour to report this? Now he will not comment. I will never go there again. The guy is a weenie.

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corduroy 7 years, 5 months ago

its truly sad how undiverse Steamboat is. Living for 4 years in a town with mostly people of color and being "that white chick" certainly makes me more tolerant, but I've heard numerous comments uttered, and also in the schools of fights over this. White kids calling a black kid "slave" It's just sick, and apparently our school policies have NOTHING in them about racial attacks. What decade are we living in here!

What is also sad to me is how many families pass on prejudice to children. They should make up their own minds about how they feel, not be influenced by grampa

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cheesehead 7 years, 5 months ago

"hi, I'm a nazi" something sounds strange about this story.

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suckerfreeforlife 7 years, 5 months ago

So... I just had an interesting talk w the "vic" in this case, as he was making the rounds of Lincoln ave, reminding stores that he frequents that the "perp" is still free, and that likely witnesses have yet to come forward, and he'd expect, if "we're not part of the problem", that we'd post the article somewhere, and generally keep the word out that this needs to be addressed. Then, i called Sunpie's, and got the impression that the guys who he got into it with were contractors from out of town, who may in fact have been starting chit w the guy. I do not have a good feel about who did what in this case, but if in fact what the vic says is true, then i think the perp should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, complete w hate crime penalty enhancers if applicable. While there remains a fair amount of uncertainty about what happened, we as a community, should be vigilent against enabling ANY kind of bigoted hatred.

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dundalk 7 years, 5 months ago

Somewhere, sometime Sbvor, old Al Sharpton will make it a case.

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cheesehead 7 years, 5 months ago

We have laws against stabbing people for no good reason. If the reason is race, politics or just plain stupidity, one law should be able to cover them all.

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suckerfreeforlife 7 years, 5 months ago

yeah, yeah, blah, blah.... im sure the Roberts Court will take care of it when they get a chance. im not too worked up about it either way. im just saying that if we have "guests" who feel comfortable starting chit by dropping N-bombs and bragging about being nazis, they should know theyre not welcome. Spare me your 14th amend. preaching

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cheesehead 7 years, 5 months ago

so if you insult someone in a PC manner before you stab them it makes it less of a crime? Like the original story, your investigstive reporting results in more questions than answers. The story only mentioned one suspect while you report suspects. journalistic drama at its finest.

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suckerfreeforlife 7 years, 5 months ago

sbvodelusion - my utter disregard is for your weak, self-indulgent, paranoid righty rants. Conlaw, on the other hand, is pretty cool.

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suckerfreeforlife 7 years, 5 months ago

Whether you think violence is generic, or you think there are different types with different consequences(and therefore legislated differently), is up to you. The point is, IF, the vics story is true, he should get justice. If CO. law covers the specific facts w hate crime leg, so be it.

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cheesehead 7 years, 5 months ago

If the vic's story is true he should definitely get justice. I know nothing of him, and since his name is out there and mine is not , I shouldn't question his integrity. got caught up in the "hate crime" thing, which deserves its own thread I guess.

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 5 months ago

sickofitall... It took the owner about 1 hour to report this? Now he will not comment.... I have to hold judgement on the reporting until more facts are presented.... surely no one would allow a man needing 20 stitches to bleed for an hour (including the victim if he was in fact sober) and it's hard to imagine having the bouncer take him to the hospital and not tell the authorities for an hour (cover thy a$$)... as for "no comment" have you ever heard of lawsuit, today's favorite pastime? Most business owners in their right mind will have nothing to say until their lawyer tells them to speak, whether in the right or not. This is one that needs to go to court and not plea bargained out; the true facts need to be revealed for proof of a "hate crime" and not just some DA using this incident to set an example. The offender deserves a a stiff sentence, not as a hate crime but as a crime, period! There is no reason for a fight to turn into a stabbing, whether you hate the color of someones skin or the brand of beer he's drinking, he's just as stabbed. I have to agree with sbvor on that point, a well stated argument.

Until we stop the media from pointing out race when it isn't a necessary fact, stop the government from making one race atone for the sins of their ancestors, stop the government from racial statistic gathering, quit waving sexuality in peoples faces, and quit giving the Sharpton's of this world any credence or press, we'll never stop prejudice. Everyone on their own merit, it's that simple, you can't change the past but you can plan for an equal future, discrimination is discrimination no matter what the reason. When a black person is given special status (hate crime status, job preference, scholarships, etc.) to "even the playing field" because their ancestors were held as slaves, how do you expect this generation of caucasians to feel when they had nothing to do with it or are from poor immigrant farmers that didn't have slaves? You want to stop prejudice, forget the past and begin an equal future.

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suckerfreeforlife 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, that was a nice stroll down the lily path. I thought it was lefties who indulged in grand utopian fantasies. If you want to muddy the waters w a discussion about affirmative action, slavery, quotas, and every nuanced race issue under the sun, go ahead, but hate crime legislation doesnt give anyone an advantage, it addresses the broader harm associated with violence motivated by bigotry. Many statutes have penalty enhancers, such as RICO, because the People, through their elected representatives, have decided that these crimes require something more creative and intelligent than a one size fits all solution. Like i said earlier, the Roberts Court will no doubt address the issue to the satisfaction of righties once they have a chance, in the meantime, if its the law of the land, than bigots beware.

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fish 7 years, 5 months ago

I sure hope you were trying to sound like a racist because you sure did a good job if you weren't trying.

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american 7 years, 5 months ago

JQPublic you nailed it with stating creating equality and go forward....I think it's ridiculous all the $$$ we have to spend to atone to a generation who was NEVER slaves !!! On another note I am not so IGNORANT to form a opinion till all the facts are in. Mr.BLACK Truck Driver says he was flirting with 2 woman when said gentleman/nazi attacked him verbally. First of all HELLO who's to say he isn't a unsavory man. Second of all, if he was making lewd and inappropriate comments to the 2 woman, the boyfriend should be allowed to defend the ladies. I am sure there is ALOT more to the story and the guy is going to get hung out to dry by the DA....next we'll have ol' Jesse Jackson and the funky bunch here to march and protest on behalf of "da man" I am not excusing nor condoning violence, but I feel there's alot more to the story. Chris Hamm, I did some look up, he's a young man with 2 children. He works construction, and works hard to earn money for his family. He is a good guy, getting a bad rap, from a DA and a opportunistic liar. This black man in typical fashion now has ammo and I am sure this will get big and ugly before all is said and done.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 5 months ago

American- Where did you do your "look up" on Hamm? Google has a bunch of them, so not sure which one. Did you look him up on MySpace or something? How did you come to the conclusion it's a bad rap? Is this all speculation or are you a friend of Hamm's posting anonymously on this forum, trying to win over people before his court date?

Does having a certain color skin make you a liar or a truth teller automatically? Does working construction and having 2 kids (does he have a wife? If so, how are these his "girlfriends?" If not where are the ladies' statements? Have you seen them yet?) or being a "Mr. BLACK Truck driver" make a person automatically innocent or guilty? Just wondering how you came up with all of this before it was released by the police.

By the tone of your post, I'd say you were talking out of your a$$, but that's just my opinion. I'd say I'm correct since you yourself had to capitalize "Mr. BLACK Truck driver" and refer to Hamm as "gentleman/nazi (non-caps)."

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suckerfreeforlife 7 years, 5 months ago

American, first you rightously claim that you wont form an opinion till the facts are in, then you say the perp is a "good guy, getting a bad rap, from a DA and an opportunistic liar." Sounds like a pretty strong opinion to me. By your own definition, that makes you IGNORANT. And what does "typical fasion" mean? Clearly, you have issues with race. That said, the vic could be lying. We have no idea. I spoke w the vic, but will wait for the investigation to run its course to decide.

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