A Snowmass Village man Monday received a deferred sentence after he pleaded guilty to assaulting an Aspen police officer, but was warned he will go to prison for a minimum of five years if he runs afoul of the law while on probation.
Gerardo Borja, 26, was placed on probation for three years for intentionally injuring Nick Farrell, who has since resigned from the force.
On March 14, Farrell and officer Dave Rosselot responded to a disturbance at The Regal Watering Hole around 1:40 a.m.
In the crowded bar, a man tried to point out to the officers a person who he said had slugged him, Rosselot wrote in an arrest affidavit.
Around the same time, other patrons set off a melee. As Rosselot made his way through the crowd, he wrote that he heard Farrell yelling at Borja, “You just punched a cop! You’re coming with me!”
Farrell later told Rosselot that Borja had reached around a friend and punched Farrell in the face. Rosselot wrote that Borja also tried to punch him but was unsuccessful because of “the swarm of people in close proximity.”
As Farrell was trying to handcuff Borja, the defendant allegedly headbutted him, giving the officer a fat lip.
In court Monday, Borja said that he had no memory of his actions. He told police after he was arrested that he had been out with friends celebrating his birthday.
The state statute on assault on a peace officer calls for a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and up to 16 years, said Judge Gail Nichols of the 9th Judicial District.
Simply having an alcoholic drink sometime in the next three years could violate his probation and trigger prison time, she said.
“Do you understand that?” Nichols asked Borja, telling him she would have no choice in the matter.
“I do, your honor,” he said.
“Can you stay sober and comply with the terms of your probation?” the judge asked. “This could be dangerous for you.”
“Absolutely,” said Borja, who was working at an Aspen Skiing Co. restaurant at the time of his arrest.
He said that while he didn’t remember what happened “at all,” his actions were out of character.
Borja, who also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor resisting arrest, said he is receiving alcohol counseling.
Misdemeanor charges of assault and disorderly conduct were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.