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Forum Post: Bomb-maker Lester Crown's induction in Aspen Hall of Fame interrupted by bomb threat

Posted 4 weeks ago on Jan. 21, 2018, 8:23 p.m. EST by skiaspen50 (25)
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(Aspen) Billionaire Lester Crown's induction into Aspen's Hall of Fame at the historic Hotel Jerome was interrupted last night by a bomb threat from a former 15 year employee, Troy Stiles, who faces 3 criminal charges including menacing at his arraignment tomorrow, Monday at 10:30 am at Pitkin County District Court.

Mr. Stiles, a devout Christian and regular volunteer at a local church community breakfast, initially worked for Lester Crown's Aspen Skiing as a lift operator, later as a snowboard instructor at Snowmass, and at the five star Little Nell and Up for Pizza. He recently obtained a job as a lift operator at Buttermilk for winter only to discover on his first day that someone in HR (Human Relations) blackballed him.

Mr. Stiles has been struggling since the loss of his home and employment in Aspen. He has been living in his truck and his been alcohol free for more than two years.

In addition, Mr. Stiles was recently given a ticket to a homeless fundraiser at the chic restaurant and club atop glittering Aspen Mountain by a Vice President at a local charity. Aspen Skico CEO Mike Kaplan & Senior Vice President Rich Burkley (also a trustee on the Aspen Historical Society) had Mr. Stiles removed by security simply for asking for help.

While no one supports alleged violence, we find it ironic that the criminal Lester Crown whose bombs starred in the recent Jeremy Scahill Academy Award nominated documentary, Dirty Wars*, gets a new crown.

The heroic award in this unfortunate situation belongs to Sheriff Joey Disalvo who unlike the elites stands tall & practices the Aspen ideal.

*http://dirtywars.org/the-film If rushed, start at minute 30 here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN4Sn5u_pK0

Reporting from Aspen by Lee Mulcahy & Jeffrey Flintstone

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[-] 1 points by skiaspen50 (25) 4 weeks ago

A judge ordered a man to be released from jail Monday despite his plea to remain incarcerated on pending charges related to allegations that he told police Saturday there was a bomb in his backpack close to the Hotel Jerome, the venue for that evening's Aspen Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

"I have no resources to do it," said defendant Troy Stiles, 48, in reference to paying a bond to be released from the Pitkin County Jail. "I'll sit in the country club down there — as long as it's not, like, five years of waiting. Obviously there's something called due process. As long as y'all take care of your end, I'm cool."

Aspen police arrested Stiles, a former Aspen Skiing Co. employee, after 3 p.m. Saturday, following reports from employees at Hotel Jerome of suspicious behavior that included his asking them where he could stand "to protest the murder of Lester Crown," according to an arrest affidavit.

Crown, 92, is the Chicago businessman whose family has owned Skico since July 1985. He was inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame at its annual banquet Saturday night. The Crown family also owns 10 percent of stock in aerospace and defense contractor General Dynamics, according to Forbes.

Police, in the meantime, tracked down Stiles at the Pitkin County Library. There, Stiles told authorities he planned to protest the people attending the event, the affidavit said. Police told Stiles he would be allowed to peacefully demonstrate, which Stiles agreed to, noting that he would read from the Bible.

Stiles subsequently told police a bomb was inside his backpack, which he threw at the ground at the officers' feet. Stiles then picked up the backpack, allegedly telling officers, "I wouldn't do that at the Jerome."

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While Stiles had cooked up the bomb story, after talking to their supervisors, officers John Woltjer and Mark Anderson arrested Stiles on a felony charge of menacing and separate misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer and disorderly conduct. Those charges are pending; it will be up to the District Attorney's Office whether to formally file them.

During his advisement hearing in front of Pitkin County District Court Judge Chris Seldin, Stiles argued, "I am a target for the Crowns, and that's why I'm here, because I speak out against them."

He also told Seldin he'd prefer to stay in jail.

"I have nothing," Stiles said. "I've got this yarmulke on my head, my glasses on my face … and my car."

The judge, however, said he did not consider Stiles a threat and ordered him released on a $1,000 personal-recognizance bond. That means that so long as Stiles makes his court appearances, he won't be required to pay the bond.

"It's unusual for me to have a defendant express a willingness to remain incarcerated while charges against him are pending," Seldin said. "It can be, in fact, a significant amount of time that can pass before a case is brought to trial."

Stiles' statements to the police, Seldin said, were "perhaps" intended "in jest and were construed strictly by law enforcement. It was notable that law enforcement did not initially arrest Mr. Stiles. It was only after that officer consulted with his supervisors that a determination to place him under arrest was made."

Stiles said he will fight the charges.

"I'm going to completely plead not guilty to (all) of this, so this is just all manufactured lies," he said.

Stiles had no legal counsel, and the judge urged him to sign up for a public defender. Prosecutor Sarah Nordgaard attended the hearing by telephone and sought a $1,000 cash-surety bond.

She said Stiles' past transgressions do not signal "a very significant criminal history." She noted a burglary conviction from 1988 in California that was dismissed in 2009, as well as a DUI conviction in 2000 and a DUI arrest in 2001.

"I've got more than two-and-a-half years sober now," Stiles said.


Google Lester Crown bribery New York Times or Chicago Tribune. Aspen Judge Chris Seldin was a member of the Lester Crown Society of Fellows (annual membership $2500) for over a decade.