Steamboat Springs man pleads guilty to bias-motivated crime

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Jeremiah Christopher Rule

— A Steamboat Springs man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor hate-crime harassment charge related to a June 27 fight on the west side of Steamboat.

According to an affidavit filed in Routt County Court by Steamboat Springs Police Department Sgt. Sam Silva, a Hispanic man called police after he said he was assaulted in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue at about 7:45 p.m.

Police think Steamboat resident Jeremiah Christopher Rule, 38, who is white, got into a fight with the man. Rule told police that the man he was arguing with would leave his truck running near Rule’s home.

The Hispanic man told police that Rule yelled at him about his truck being too loud, according to the affidavit. The man got out of the truck and “asked Rule what his problem was” and Rule then called the man a “(expletive) Mexican” and “(expletive) illegal.” The man told police that Rule then shoved him in the chest and punched him in the face.

Police think Rule had been drinking alcohol.

Rule was charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault June 28, and the misdemeanor harassment charge involving ethnic intimidation was added July 1.

The plea agreement outlined that the assault charge would be dismissed if Rule pleaded guilty to harassment.

Rule was sentenced to 36 hours of community service and one year of unsupervised probation, according to court records.

A message left for Rule with his wife was not returned Friday.

— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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