Aspen Chairlift Pusher Released from Psychiatric Hospital

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Thomas Proesel

The skier who threw a man off an Aspen Highlands, CO ski lift four years ago was released from the state’s psychiatric hospital Tuesday to live on his own in Pueblo, CO reports the Aspen TimesThomas Proesel, 35, had requested to return to an Aspen condominium he still owns, but Pitkin County District Judge Chris Seldin ruled against that course of action.

On January 17th, 2016, Thomas Proesel, 31,  pushed snowboarder Seth Beckton off the Loge Peak Lift at Aspen Highlands, Colorado after a comment that Beckton made about skiing vs. snowboarding.  Seth fell about 25-feet.

Seth:   “to get tits deep pow shots you just need to be on your edges.”

Proesel:   “are you laughing at me?”

Seth:  “Kind of…yes??

Proesel:  ” Well is this funny?”

He then proceeded to push/pull me off the chair. Luckily I fell 20-25′ into a fluffy pile of snow. So thankful that I was not hurt due to some asshole being offended by a non- offensive comment. Proceeded to get my turns in throughout the day on the lookout for the suspect without luck. 

Seth’s Facebook post following the incident

Proesel, who’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia, never explained why he pushed Beckton off the lift, though it’s likely he misinterpreted a seemingly innocuous remark or thought he was being laughed at.

“It does seem to me that Mr. Proesel has made significant progress at (the state psychiatric hospital in Pueblo),” Seldin said during a hearing Tuesday. “This is a significant achievement for Mr. Proesel and I commend you for all your hard work.”

In Pueblo, Proesel will live alone, be monitored for sobriety, will continue to take the antipsychotic medication and will be closely monitored by a case manager. He also must find employment.

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