Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No charges for Whitmer; manhunt for Dillabaugh

Westword's Michael Roberts on the dust-up between CU lecturer and psychotic Ward Churchill supporter Ben Whitmer and Boulder Daily Camera reporter Heath Urie during Churchill's inaugural free class at CU October 2:
Where Professor [oh, for Christ's sake--ed.] Ward Churchill goes, controversy follows — and so, usually, do charges, counter-charges, confusion and contradictions. If the truth is out there regarding an October 2 class taught by the former University of Colorado-Boulder staffer, during which a Churchill devotee allegedly manhandled a reporter, it's currently being obscured by a miasma of conflicting stories.

Two of the main players will be familiar to Westword readers. Benjamin Whitmer dominated a column about, a gleefully profane [oh, for Christ's sake--ed.] Churchill-boosting blog at which he toiled anonymously before being outed as a CU instructor ("Try Again," January 18). And Heath Urie appeared in relation to a pair of open-meetings-related cases — one in 2004, when he was a University of Northern Colorado journalism student, the other just prior to his move from the Canyon Courier to the Boulder Daily Camera last summer ("Open Case," August 2).
Lots of krep follows. Here's the newt of the bisque:
The course soon got under way with about thirty attendees, by the Camera's estimate, or between fifty and seventy, according to Whitmer [he's a numbers-inflating automaton!]. Minutes later, Whitmer says, Urie "barged in the door yelling at the top of his lungs, and he had a recording device running in his hand. It was pretty obvious to everybody that he was trying to provoke an incident. I stood up and put my hand out. My hand was on him, but I didn't shove him, which is what he told the police; that's ridiculous. And then another gentleman I was with took him by his arms and tried to escort him out. He went kind of apeshit, and then he left the room."
Unexplained, of course, is why a newbie reporter on the Churchill beat would try to provoke an incident in the first place, let alone go "kind of apeshit," in Benjie's elegant phrase. Anyway, guess who the mystery accoster was whom Urie pressed charges against. It wasn't Churchill's doggie:
After another fifteen minutes or so, CU campus police arrived and asked to speak with Whitmer and the other man, identified as Josh Dillabaugh, a CU sophomore who's active in Colorado's American Indian Movement. Neither were cited at the time, but Commander Brad Wiesley of the CU police department says Urie pressed charges against Dillabaugh. A CU detective arranged to meet Dillabaugh at his Boulder residence to deliver a summons, Wiesley continues, but the suspect wasn't there at the appointed time and later told the officer he'd "have to come find him." As a result, a warrant has been issued in Dillabaugh's name for misdemeanor harassment, an offense that carries a sentence ranging from a $50 fine to six months in jail.
I love it. Josh "I'll Kill You" Dillabaugh. You'll never take me alive, coppers . . .

Michael Roberts gives me the hives, but read the whole thing.

Update: a reader notes that Killer Dillabaugh's Indian name, "Cante Akichita" means "Soldier Heart," and adds: "Some soldier, huh? More like a coward and no better than a thug."

Update II: Get Benjie: "another gentleman I was with . . ."

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