A 26-year-old California man died at the Hotel Jerome on New Year’s Eve.
Police and paramedics were called to the Main Street hotel at 8:45 p.m. Monday on a report of a guest who was unresponsive in his room. The man was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital and pronounced dead.
Police department and coroner’s office officials were not prepared to comment on the cause or manner of death early Tuesday. Sgt. Rob Fabrocini said it was not violent in nature. He added that the department is working on a press release that is likely to go out on Wednesday.
The man, who according to the coroner’s office was from Malibu, Calif., was here with family and appears to have been to Aspen “many times,” Fabrocini said.
“I am sure there will be more info [Wednesday],” Fabrocini said. “We are in the process of dealing with his parents.”
An autopsy is likely to take place on Thursday, according to deputy coroner Michael Buglione. He added that a formal identification is likely to be made in the Aspen police press release.
Hotel Jerome General Manager Tony DiLucia said he was “filled with sadness” over the incident. On behalf of the hotel staff, “Our mission is to take care of the family and anything that they need, to give them support and privacy. That is what we do and what we are going to do. If they need anything we are there.”
A call for service every 7 minutes
The man’s death on Monday was one of 99 calls for service Aspen police officers responded to between 5 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. Monday into Tuesday, making it among the busiest nights ever for city law enforcement.
Nine Aspen police officers, including an investigator called in on the fatality, were working on New Year’s Eve and “they were busy the entire night,” Fabrocini said. “When I came in around 8 a.m. [Tuesday] some of the night guys were still going home.”
Aspen police arrested at least six people through the course of the evening. Incidents included a trespassing at the Rubey Park transportation center, a theft at Shlomo’s, a harassment case between employees at HOPS Culture, a trespassing at Castle Ridge apartments — an intoxicated person entered the wrong residence, Fabrocini said — and an assault at the detox facility. Aspen police also arrested one person for DUI, while Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies also made a DUI arrest.
There were multiple other incidents “that on normal nights probably would have led to an arrest, but the officers decided it would be handled better with a lecture and release” before moving on to the next call, Fabrocini said.
Alcohol and drugs were factors in a majority of the calls, Fabrocini added.
A town crowded with last-minute guests enticed by the good snow to come celebrate the new year in Aspen contributed to a certain energy that seemed to propel the volume of law enforcement contacts, he said.
“A lot of people were getting a little overzealous with their partying,” he said.