An Aspen man pleaded guilty to careless driving on Thursday after he was cited for a run-in with a security guard at the 2012 X Games.
Martin Horowitz, 67, acknowledged he was frustrated when the guard told him that he couldn’t drive into the main entrance at Buttermilk, where he was a ski instructor. But he said he didn’t mean to injure the man, who jumped onto the hood of Horowitz’s SUV when he accelerated.
The incident happened Jan. 25, 2012, a day before the X Games started. The parking area at the time was only open to buses and event personnel with passes.
The guard suffered a bloody nose from his face hitting the windshield. Horowitz ended up driving his vehicle into a snow bank 120 feet away.
He was cited for careless driving and misdemeanor assault, a count that was dropped as part of a plea agreement.
Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely of Pitkin County Court ruled that Horowitz had the “last, clear chance” to avoid the accident. She also told Horowitz that driving in ski boots is never a good idea.
Fernandez-Ely fined Horowitz $300 but suspended $200. She ordered that the $100 fine will go toward paying for the guard’s watch, which was busted when he was reaching past Horowitz to try to put the vehicle in park, said prosecutor Jason Slothouber.
Horowitz in court questioned why the victim didn’t have to submit an invoice for the watch’s repair or a photo of the timepiece. The guard could have “borrowed a friend’s Rolex” and said it was the watch in question, Horowitz said.
Fernandez-Ely, though, said she found the victim to be credible.
Horowitz had four points assessed to his driver’s license and must write a letter of apology to the victim.