Skier who pushed snowboarder to be charged

Posted at 6:01 AM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 10:53:39-05

A skier suspected of throwing a snowboarder off a chairlift Sunday at Aspen Highlands will be charged with a crime "in the near future," a law enforcement official told the Aspen Times.

Pitkin County sheriff's investigators interviewed the skier, the snowboarder and witnesses this week.

Seth Beckton says he was riding a lift with a skier and another man Sunday morning when he made an innocuous comment about skiers getting better face shots of powder than snowboarders that apparently offended the skier. Beckton says the skier then pushed him off the lift.

Beckton said he fell face first, 20 to 25 feet, and landed in a pile of snow and was not injured. The incident occurred 50 to 100 feet from the top of the lift just past the last lift tower, he said.

A lift operator stopped the chairs after Beckton was pushed, but not before the skier was able to exit the chair, he said.

Authorities say they identified a possible suspect based on surveillance video at the bottom of the mountain. The resort has given information from scanners at two chairlifts to the sheriff's department.