Photo by Scott Franz
Skiers come down Steamboat Ski Area on Monday evening as part of the annual New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade. The holiday kept Steamboat Springs law enforcement officers busy, and five people started the new year in Routt County Jail.
Steamboat Springs Local police were busy, but most people seemed to behave themselves during New Year’s celebrations.
Strong ridership was reported on the free buses operated by the city of Steamboat Springs. Transit supervisor Mark Wooler said the riders generally were a “loud but happy bunch.” Initial numbers showed there were 10,101 riders during what is typically the transit department’s busiest night of the year. Last year, there were about 8,500 riders. Ridership numbers approached 12,000 in 2007 and 2008.
With an anticipated busy night, the Steamboat Springs Police Department had additional officers working, and they were encouraged to make traffic stops to make their presence known, Sgt. Rich Brown said. He said officers saturated areas with the most revelers, including downtown and the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
Brown said officers walked through the bars and patrolled the streets to keep incidents from escalating to the point where people needed to go to jail.
“The bar checks seem to be a very positive deterrent,” Brown said.
Five people did end up beginning their new year at the Routt County Jail.
There was one DUI arrest. A person came to the police department shortly before 11 p.m. Monday and reported a driver parked in the police parking lot who almost had hit a pedestrian on Yampa Street. The 23-year-old male driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, two men were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct related to fighting at a bar in the 700 block of Yampa Street.
A disturbance at a hotel in the 2200 block of Village Inn Court at about 2 a.m. led to the arrest of a 28-year-old man on suspicion of third-degree assault.
At about 2:45 a.m., officers responded to a domestic disturbance in Steamboat. A woman reported her boyfriend was holding her against her will. The multi-agency emergency response tactical team was assembled and removed the 27-year-old man from the residence without incident. He was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment.
Outside Steamboat, no major incidents were reported related to New Year’s celebrations.
“It sounds like it was a pretty quiet night,” Routt County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Ryan Adrian said.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott also reported things were quiet on the roadways, and there were no crashes or DUI arrests. During the weekend and leading up to New Year’s Eve, troopers and Steamboat officers used grant money to work shifts dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. Since Dec. 24, three people have been arrested in Routt County on suspicion of DUI.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com