Downtown event more of the pits than peachy time for 80-year-old

Charlene Dabbs

A local farmer is growing some pretty impressive peaches and selling them at the American National Bank Downtown Farmers Market.

Unfortunately, one of those fruits went to waste Thursday evening during the weekly event in downtown Grand Junction, and it could end up costing a Grand Junction woman another black mark on what’s already an extensive criminal record.

Charlene Emma Dabbs, 54, 195 Montana Road, was booked into Mesa County Jail after she allegedly admitted picking up a peach and throwing it, intending to hit the father of her ex-boyfriend.

Instead, it struck an 80-year-old woman in the leg, a crime that could technically be charged as a felony.

Police were called downtown about 6:20 p.m. Thursday and spoke with an 80-year-old woman who said she and her friends were listening to a group of people singing at Sixth and Main streets.

That’s when a woman whom friends identified as Dabbs threw a peach at her from about 20 feet away. The woman said she felt like her knee was starting to swell and wanted to press charges, although she refused an ambulance, according to an arrest affidavit.

“Looking at the peach, which had been picked up and placed on one of the planters, I observed a peach which was approximately the size of a small grapefruit,” an officer wrote in the affidavit.

The officer spoke with three witnesses who said they saw a woman with an angry expression on her face throw the peach and hit the 80-year-old woman, the affidavit said.

The officer contacted Dabbs, who told him she saw her ex-boyfriend’s father with a group of people and heard him saying that she was again dating his son. She said she lost her temper and threw the peach, intending to hit the father but instead hitting the 80-year-old woman, the affidavit said.

“Charlene said she knew she shouldn’t have thrown the peach and stated she owed (the woman) an apology,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Dabbs appeared in court Friday via closed-circuit television from Mesa County Jail. County Judge Gretchen Larson advised her that she could be charged with a felony count of assault on an at-risk adult and a misdemeanor count of harassment and ordered her held on $1,000 bond.

Dabbs’ criminal history dates to the mid-1970s and includes two felony convictions for larceny and check fraud and convictions in at least five shoplifting cases, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records. The records also indicate she has used 21 aliases.

While acknowledging he’s “not claiming it’s the crime of the century” and that he’s not certain his office will file a felony charge, District Attorney Pete Hautzinger noted Dabbs’ lengthy record and her “reckless actions” in the current case.

Public Defender Elyse Maranjian told Larson that Dabbs is taking classes to obtain her general equivalency diploma and cleans and performs yard work at a woman’s home.

“It’s not a very aggravated case to me,” Maranjian said.


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