Incident starts with domestic disturbance
In a rare situation for local law enforcement officers, Crested Butte marshals found themselves in a dangerous situation last Friday morning that came perilously close to ending tragically. Instead, a 38-year-old local Crested Butte man finds himself facing a half-dozen serious charges and will be in court this week.
The scenario started Friday, December 5 about 3 a.m. when officers were called to 131 Maroon Avenue for a domestic violence situation. According to a press release from the Crested Butte Marshal’s Office, “Dispatch informed the officers that the reporting party indicated there were weapons inside the residence and the male party was under the influence of ‘drugs and alcohol.’”
When two marshals arrived at the scene, the victim who had reported the situation said her husband, Eli Pardini, was inside the house and extremely angry and intoxicated. The woman said she had been sleeping when her husband came home and began shaking and shoving her.
“The officers intended to speak with the suspect to get his side of the event, but realized the danger present since the suspect reportedly had access to weapons,” the press release stated. “The uniformed deputies cautiously approached the door and made entry to a small mudroom where the door to the residence had a large window covered by a curtain. The suspect was standing next to a coffee table where he reached down and grabbed a handgun after the officers knocked to announce their presence. The officers also noticed a rifle resting on the coffee table.”
That is when the officers felt the situation turned extremely volatile and dangerous. When the man grabbed the handgun, the marshals opened the door to the house and commanded him to drop the gun. He didn’t and the officers reported they felt fearful for their safety. They were prepared to deal with the threat that the suspect presented them. In other words, they had their guns drawn and were ready to defend themselves.
The suspect was told to “drop the gun” two more times before he finally did as commanded by the officers.
“The officers took the suspect to the ground, where they attempted to gain control of him before he could hurt himself or others,” stated the report. “The suspect attempted to grab a deputy’s taser but that grab was thwarted. At one point during the struggle, the suspect tried reaching for a knife in his pocket but that potential attack was also stopped. There were no additional Mt. Crested Butte or Crested Butte officers immediately available to assist with the call. The officers struggled with the suspect for about three or four minutes until they were able to get him in handcuffs. A loaded scoped rifle and a locked and loaded handgun were recovered near the suspect.”
“In my 30 years in the department, this is as close as this department has come to an officer-involved shooting,” said Tom Martin, Crested Butte chief marshal. “It was very upsetting to the officers involved as well as to the entire department.”
Pardini was taken to the hospital for medical evaluation before being transported to jail. He was charged with felony menacing, the prohibited use of a weapon, resisting arrest, harassment, false imprisonment and domestic violence. He was released on $10,000 bail and will appear in court Thursday