Transient man throws tantrum after bond set at $10K |

Transient man throws tantrum after bond set at $10K

Crime and Courts

Jailers had to put a transient man in a restraint chair Thursday after Judge James Garrecht set his bond at $10,000.

Clifford Mortensen

Clifford J. Mortensen, 56, was advised of his rights via a video feed, and he started shouting expletives at Garrecht when it became clear Mortensen would be spending Independence Day at the Routt County Jail.

"I can't afford that," Mortensen said. "I'm homeless."

Mortensen, who said he lived in Leadville for 40 years, is suspected of biting a Hayden Police Department officer and was arrested on suspicion of felony second-degree assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, two counts of disorderly conduct and theft.

On Wednesday, police responded to Kum & Go, where Mortensen was suspected of stealing cleaning wipes.

When confronted by police, Mortensen became extremely upset and began to yell and swear at the clerk and patrons at the business, according to an arrest affidavit.

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Mortensen was given the chance to pay for the wipes, but he continued to yell and swear, the affidavit states.

It further states that police told Mortensen he was under arrest for theft and disorderly conduct, and he became combative.

While being driven to Routt County Jail, he became violent, and he began to kick the cage and protective glass, the affidavit states.

At the jail, Mortensen said he was injured, and he was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where he yelled and swore at staff, according to the affidavit.

Police put Mortensen back in the car, and while an officer was putting on Mortensen's seat belt, Mortensen bit the officer on the arm, according to the affidavit.

During court, Mortensen said he was visiting family in Craig, and he was in the process of walking to the Pacific Ocean while carrying a flag.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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