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Steamboat officers arrest 3 men accused of violating stay-at-home order

One of the suspect's roommates called police and reported he had two visitors over who would not leave.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Three men were taken into custody Monday and are accused of violating both the Routt County and statewide stay-at-home orders.

According to a police report obtained from Steamboat Springs Police Services on Wednesday, Joseph Thompson, 28, Ryan Albert, 25, and Travis Pettit, 34, all face charges for violating a public health order and obstructing a peace officer. Thompson is also accused of drinking alcohol despite a court order that bars him from doing so.

>> The video above answers some common questions about the stay-at-home order.

The incident stemmed from a phone call from Thompson’s roommate in Steamboat Springs to police dispatch at around 9 p.m. Monday. She said that Thompson had two out-of-town guests saying with him against her will, and that she was concerned about her three children and another at-risk roommate’s potential for contracting the COVID-19 virus, according to the report.

When police arrived, the report says officers went into the basement of the home where Thompson, Albert and Petitt were and told them they were violating the stay-at-home order.

“Mr. Thompson immediately refused and argued what he believed was the right interpretation of the stay-at-home order,” the report says. “Mr. Thompson was incorrect about his interpretation of the stay-at-home order. Mr. Thompson argued that he and his friends were practicing social distancing and had been ‘in quarantine’ for some time.”

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The report says officers attempted to continue to explain the stay-at-home order in hopes they would leave on their own, but police said it was not successful.

“Officers were never given the opportunity to explain the details of the public health order because … the three subjects repeatedly argued, interrupted and yelled at officers their interpretation of the public health order,” the report says.

According to the police report, investigators found that Albert lived in Fort Collins and Pettit lived in Loveland, violating the statewide stay-at-home order for non-essential travel since they were in Steamboat. The report also says all three men had left the home to go fishing earlier in the day.

In addition, police said Albert, Thompson and Petitt violated Routt County’s order limiting the size of gatherings involving people who don’t live in the same household.

When they were initially approached by officers, the report says Albert and Petitt refused to identify themselves by name. 

All three men were booked into the Routt County Jail.

Colorado’s statewide stay-at-home order went into effect on March 26. According to Routt County’s website, its limit on public gatherings went into effect on March 24.

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