A longtime Aspen man who was released a month ago after three years in prison for assaulting a cop was arrested Thursday for allegedly again tangling with Aspen police officers and threatening to kill one of them.
Landin Smith, 48, was advised Friday that he was being held for violating his parole. He also faces a felony charge of attempted assault of a police officer, and misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and violating a court order to not drink alcohol.
Smith was released from the Colorado Department of Corrections on Dec. 26 after serving most of the four-year term he received in 2009 for second-degree assault on a police officer.
Smith has a long history of run-ins with the police, including previous parole and bail-bond violations, trespassing, DUI and criminal mischief, Aspen Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan said in Friday’s hearing.
In 2009, Smith was charged with felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and unlawful sexual contact. A judge dismissed those counts, however, ruling there had been no probable cause for his arrest. Then-Aspen prosecutor Arnold Mordkin took the allegations to a grand jury, which indicted Smith on lesser misdemeanor counts.
While he was out on bail for those charges, Smith drunkenly instigated a fight with Aspen police officers. He pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer as part of a plea deal that dropped the sex charges, and received the four-year term.
Early Thursday, police were called to the Local’s Corner convenience store on a report of a disturbance, according to a police report.
Officers found Smith “staggering and stumbling out of the main entrance,” wrote officer Dave Rosselot.
Police learned that Smith, who appeared intoxicated, was forbidden from having alcohol as part of his protection order from the 2009 case.
After Smith was told he was being arrested for violating the order, he became belligerent and tried to walk away, Rosselot wrote.
He allegedly refused to comply as officers tried to handcuff him, and officer Jeff Fain took Smith to the ground. Smith began flailing around and “intentionally kicked officer Forrest Barnett in the leg,” Rosselot’s report says. “Barnett later told me that he had not felt pain during Smith’s kick ... but did feel the impact from it.”
Barnett said Thursday that at one point in the scuffle, Smith had confronted and threatened to kill him, Bryan told Judge Gail Nichols of Pitkin County District Court. Barnett was “quite terrified,” Bryan said.
Smith told Nichols that he has a home two blocks from the courthouse and that he would have been starting a new job “had this not happened.”
Asked what he thought his bond should be, he said, “To make it sensational for the papers, let’s make it $7 million.” Smith acknowledged the bond amount doesn’t matter because he has a parole hold.
“Landin Smith mixing with any amount of alcohol is not good,” he said.
He told Nichols that he hopes to get psychiatric help and alcohol treatment instead of returning to prison, where he said he will “sit in isolation or fight every day.”
Nichols set his bond at $7,000 and confirmed that, where he to post enough money to get out, it wouldn’t matter because of the alleged parole violation. He will next appear in Nichols’ court on Feb. 4.
Katherine Sanguinetti of the Colorado Department of Corrections said a new potential prison sentence for Smith will depend on the type of violation.
“He will go back to prison and then face the other charges,” she said.