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Boulder employee accused of asking for compensation for returning shopping carts

Kyle Patterson, 41, threatened to destroy carts he recovered off the store's property if he didn't get compensation for returning them, according to the city.
Credit: Stock Photo

BOULDER, Colo. — A City of Boulder employee has been charged with felony extortion related to two incidents of threatening to destroy shopping carts at a Whole Foods Market, according to the city.

According to the release, an employee at a local grocery store filed a police report saying a city employee had twice asked for "compensation" for returning the store's carts. The store employee said the man had threatened to destroy the carts if he wasn't compensated.

A city spokesperson said the incidents occurred on Nov. 12 and Dec. 1 at the Whole Foods at 2905 Pearl St. The city employee had recovered the carts from cleanup efforts in parks and encampments, the spokesperson said.

The city employee allegedly requested food or a meal in exchange for the carts, the spokesperson said.

Based on the description of the city employee and further investigation, Boulder Police identified Kyle Patterson, 41, as the suspect, the news release says.

Patterson is a public space reclamation specialist and is responsible for, among other things, removing debris, trash and other unwanted items from public spaces.

“As a city organization, we are deeply disappointed to learn of these allegations. Our employees have a steadfast commitment to public service,” said City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde in the release. “Obviously this individual is entitled to a fair court process, but the details provided to the police department by our grocery store partners are troubling. We appreciate them bringing their concerns to police’s attention.”

Patterson was hired by the city in August and is on unpaid administrative leave, according to the release.

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