A Towaoc man known for spitting on police officers chose a sentence of 18 months in state prison on Thursday instead of a lighter sentence of supervised probation and possible drug court.
Tilden D. Arrates, 23, was arrested on Aug. 30 in Cortez City Park. According to a Cortez Police Department incident report, two police officers at the park on an unrelated call saw Arrates lying in the grass and approached him to check on his welfare. He appeared to be highly intoxicated, the report states.
One officer recognized Arrates from previous contacts. He warned the other officer that Arrates has been violent in the past and is known to spit on officers. At that point, the report states, Arrates began making sounds with his mouth that indicated he was working up some saliva. Arrates then allegedly spit on the officer’s left pant leg.
The officers then handcuffed Arrates and he started to thrash around, according to the incident report. Arrates kicked one officer in the buttocks and one officer in the shin. He then went limp and officers carried him to a patrol vehicle. They put a spit hood over his head and transported him to Southwest Memorial Hospital for medical clearance because of his high level of intoxication and then to the Montezuma County Detention Center.
Arrates was charged with felony menacing, second-degree assault for attempting to infect, injuring or harming a peace officer with bodily fluids, third-degree assault and resisting arrest.
In 22nd Judicial District Court on Oct. 31, Arrates waived a preliminary hearing to consider an offer to plead guilty to the felony menacing charge, a Class 5 felony, with supervised probation and possible drug court.
On Thursday, Arrates was back in district court for arraignment before 22nd Judicial District Chief Judge Douglas Walker. Walker said a Class 5 felony usually calls for probation, but Arrates said serving time with the Colorado Department of Corrections would be a better situation for him.
Walker asked Arrates if he wants to live to see age 30, to which Arrates shrugged.
Deputy District Attorney Sheena Goldsborough said it sounds like no one has confidence in Arrates and he has no confidence in himself. She said the Aug. 30 incident was at least the fourth time Arrates has been contacted for being drunk in public.
“He’s known as ‘The Spitter,’” Goldsborough said. “This is not the first time he’s done this.”
Walker asked Arrates if he wished to rethink his decision to serve time in state prison instead of probation, but the 23-year-old did not change his mind.
“This is a first, but life is full of firsts,” Walker said.
The district attorney dismissed the charges of resisting arrest and third-degree assault, and Arrates pleaded guilty to one count of felony menacing and second-degree assault. Walker sentenced Arrates to 18 months with the DOC.
Defense Attorney Justin Bogan said it might work out for the young man.
“Maybe DOC will right the ship, judge,” Bogan said. “Let’s hope it does.”