Police: Six people face charges in drunken multi-story plunge

Six people have been charged or face charges after two of them were hurt in an alleged alcohol-fueled tumble off an abandoned four-story building, Montrose police said Wednesday.

Stephanie Pickett, 19, of Montrose, was issued a summons on suspicion of unlawful consumption, possession of alcohol and unlawful entry, before she was airlifted early Friday to a Denver hospital for treatment of multiple fractures.

Montrose Police Department Cmdr. Gene Lillard said Pickett was among three people who fell after allegedly drinking and exploring the abandoned former Delta-Montrose Electrical Association power plant, 30 W. South Fourth St. in Montrose.

Pickett, Rebecca Miller, 23, of Montrose, and Joshua Drown, 21, of Delta, were on a roughly 3-foot-wide catwalk after midnight Friday, before falling, Lillard said.

“A couple panels on the catwalk were missing, so they just walked out into space,” Lillard said. “They hit some of the structure falling down, which probably slowed them down. We’re fortunate nobody died.”

Pickett and Miller fell an estimated 30 to 40 feet to the concrete floor.

Miller suffered head and facial injuries, and faces possible charges including unlawful entry.

Lillard said Drown’s backpack snared on the structure, where he was dangling while officers and rescue workers tried to get to him. He tumbled before they could reach him.

“They told him to stay still, and they’d use a ladder to come get him, but he wiggled free and landed on a beam,” Lillard said.

Drown wasn’t injured and was argumentative with rescuers, Lillard said.

Drown was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of unlawful entry and providing alcohol to minors.

Lillard said officers noticed an odor of alcohol on the fallen trio.

The abandoned plant, which is privately owned, is enclosed by a fence with barbed wire at the top. Officers were able to crawl underneath and cut a lock on the gate, Lillard said.

A fourth person allegedly on the property, Sean Gaetz, 23, of Montrose, was issued a summons on suspicion of unlawful entry.

Ricky Mitchell, 26, of Montrose, was arrested and booked on suspicion of second-degree criminal trespass, while Mitchell’s wife, Sarah, 20, was issued a summons for unlawful underage consumption of alcohol, according to Lillard.

Lillard said he didn’t know the relationship between the Mitchells and the fall victims. Authorities believe the couple left the scene of the incident before police arrived.


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