Suspect in underage drinking party arrested
January 28, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies have arrested a 25-year-old man who they think supplied alcohol at an underage drinking party that left a 17-year-old girl in a coma.
Deputies issued a warrant Wednesday night for Routt County resident Ryan Atkinson on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and intimidation of a witness.
At 9:15 this morning, Atkinson turned himself in at the Routt County Jail without incident, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Mellisa Baumgartner said. Atkinson remains in custody. A news release initially listed Atkinson's age as 26.
Atkinson had agreed to turn himself in to authorities Wednesday but did not do so, Sheriff's Office officials said.
He remained in Jail today on three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and three counts of intimidation of a witness. The charges for witness intimidation stem from conversations and text messages Atkinson reportedly had with people who were at the party where he told them to lie to investigators.
The charges stem from a reported party Jan. 10 at Atkinson's house on Routt County Road 14B.
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Sheriff's Office investigators said they think Atkinson provided alcohol to seven people at the party, all younger than 21, including four who were younger than 18.
Baumgartner said a 17-year-old girl was seriously injured at the party when she fell about 18 feet from a deck.
The girl was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center and then flown by air ambulance to a Denver-area hospital where she remains in a coma in serious condition.
The name of the girl was not released because she is a minor.
Sheriff's Office investigator Ken Klinger said most of the minors at the party were girls, and Baumgartner said they were friends or acquaintances of Atkinson’s.