Blotter, Nov. 2, 2012



Prank draws bomb squad

Grand Junction’s bomb squad was called to the Blue Lake area in the Roaring Fork Valley on Thursday afternoon after the discovery of small, exploded and unexploded homemade bombs believed to have been created as a Halloween prank, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.

Someone in the El Jebel area found a small bottle with an unknown liquid and dumped it in a gutter, assuming it was trash. However, the liquid began bubbling and smoking, and deputies dispatched to the scene determined the man had found a bomb.

Deputies then found four additional bottles that had exploded in the Blue Lake area. The bombs caused small burn marks but no significant damage. The Grand Junction crew disposed of another, unexploded bomb found at Blue Lake Park.

The Sheriff’s Office said the bombs are small soda bottles containing a yellow liquid. It asks that anyone coming across one of the bombs not touch it but instead call 911 immediately.


Building burns at school


Fire personnel were called to Palisade High School early Thursday morning on the report of a small building on fire on the school’s campus.

The building served as an observatory, but there were no telescopes or other equipment in the building at the time of the fire. The building and adjacent deck, which are not connected to the high school itself, were a total loss, according to Palisade Fire Chief Richard Rupp.

“Right now, it’s under investigation and we haven’t made any determinations on actually what started the fire,” Rupp said.

Open burning season over


The Grand Junction Fire Department says that the open burn season for 2012 officially ended on Oct. 31, as burn permits expired on that date.

Open burning regulations do not apply to indoor commercial barbecue pits or permanent outdoor fireplaces, and apply to all outdoor fires within the jurisdiction of the Grand Junction Fire Department.

Harassment alleged


Two juvenile boys say that Ronald Rocha, 58, chased them from Rocky Mountain Elementary School, 3260 D 1/2 Road, on Tuesday. The three were involved in a prior incident on Oct. 4 in which Rocha was accused of assaulting one of the boys with a tennis racket.

Rocha was charged then with third-degree assault and now is accused of two counts of harassment and retaliation against a witness or victim, after the two boys involved in that incident rushed home in a panic after a confrontation with Rocha on Tuesday.

An arrest affidavit alleges Rocha told the boys to approach his truck, promising to fix a skateboard of one of the boys. After a few words, the boys ran away, and Rocha is alleged to have followed them slowly in his truck. One of the boys is quoted as saying Rocha wanted to “get me good.”

When Rocha later denied to police that he confronted the boys, an arrest was made on the harassment and retaliation accusations.

Tech items lifted from Jeep


Crime Stoppers of Mesa County hopes someone may be able to provide information regarding an alleged theft that happened sometime between Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday. Oct. 22 from a maroon Jeep Wrangler parked in the 2200 block of Rio Linda Lane.

The subject or subjects stole an Asus laptop with a WiFi hotspot. The items are valued at $1,200.

Information that leads to an arrest could earn the tipster up to $1,000 in cash. Anonymous tips can be left at 241-7867.


According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department:

■ Krystle Block, 26, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of drug and paraphernalia possession and child abuse.

■ Matthew Ham, 18, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.

■ Laurence Nichols, 30, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving under restraint, an equipment violation for operating a low-powered scooter and not having proper eye protection.

■ Durward Pifer, 66, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of DUI, unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon and prohibited use of a weapon.

■ Ronald Rocha, 58, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of harassment and retaliation against a witness or victim.


According to the Grand Junction Police Department:

■ Nicholas Simonetti, 19, was arrested Oct. 26 on suspicion of criminal mischief, physical harassment and domestic violence. He is alleged to have struck and damaged the property of a female in the 1500 block of Poplar Drive.

■ Troy Milam, 44, is accused of DUI after being contacted at 714 24 1/2 Road.


According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department:

■ Police are investigating a reported burglary outside of Silt that resulted in a loss of more than $50,000. No further details were available.


According to the Montrose County Sheriff’s Department:

■ A rifle found on the Uncompahgre Plateau was turned in to the sheriff’s office.

■ Dean Armendariz, 48, was arrested on a warrant for failure to comply and held on a $150,000 bond.


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