Man pleads guilty in bomb case


— Former Hayden resident Dusty Zabel pled guilty to reckless endangerment Wednesday in connection with a series of homemade acid bombs set off in Hayden during the first week of August.

Zabel agreed to a two-year deferred judgment, during which he will have to successfully complete two years of supervised probation, pay $4,056 in restitution, pay court costs and complete 120 hours of community service. Reckless endangerment is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A felony charge of possessing an explosive device was dropped as part of the plea agreement. That charge could have carried a sentence of as many as six years in prison.

Zabel and another 19-year-old former Hayden resident, Isaac Haskins, were charged with possession of an explosive device and reckless endangerment in September. The pair were accused of setting off between 12 and 14 acid bombs around Hayden.

Officer Darin Falk of the Hayden Police Department had to be treated for chemical bronchitis after breathing toxic hydrochloric acid fumes when handling the explosive devices. The Moffat County Hazmat Team had to decontaminate Falk's patrol vehicle as a result of the incident.

The restitution stipulated in Zabel's plea agreement will pay for those costs, said Larry Combs, the attorney who represented Zabel. Combs said Zabel is a good kid who made a bad decision.

Zabel could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

If he successfully completes his probation and abides by the conditions of his plea agreement, including writing a letter of apology to Falk and Hayden Police Chief Ray Birch, his misdemeanor charge will be dismissed. If not, the misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.

Haskins' case is still pending.


id04sp 9 years, 5 months ago


Thank our Chief Justice, Michael O'Hara. He's the driving force behind the plea bargains in the 14th Judicial District.

What was that new "justice center" for again? Trials, was it?

You are absolutely right about the message. If you're going to f### up, do it in Routt County. You can always plead it down and get probation IF you get caught.


1234 9 years, 5 months ago

and why was falk treated ? also why did his car have to be decontaminated? when he is an officer of the law and had to of gone thru this training of hazard chems.why would you run up to this so called bomb, smell it and put it in your car?? WHY WAS FALK HANDLEING THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE? as far as a letter to say he was sorry? to falk maybe! but to birch, come on, if there is a letter to be wrote it should be FROM, BIRCH, to the people he has lied to since he has been in office. and i have proof!!!


mud 9 years, 5 months ago

ok ok I'll bite. Gosh 1234, what has he been lying about, and what kind of proof do have?


1234 9 years, 5 months ago

he lied about how he would handle a certain case, and the proof is on his recorder.


spukomy 9 years, 5 months ago

I cannot believe you can set off 12-14 acid bombs, in public, and get probation. That's quite a message they're sending.


fish 9 years, 5 months ago

Something tells me that this case might have been handled differently if the last names of the boys would have been different. I am all for giving a young person a second chance, but 3rd and 4th chances are a bit much.


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