The Aspen Chairlift Pusher Is Seeking To Be Released From Mental Hospital

Greg Obernesser | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
chairlift pusher
Court photo of Thomas Proesel. Credit: ABC Denver

Thomas Proesel, infamously known as the Aspen Chairlift Pusher, is legally seeking his release from a mental health institute in Pueblo, Colorado. According to The Aspen Times, Proesel filed a petition in February asking District Judge Chris Seldin to appoint him a public defender, to schedule an independent psychiatric evaluation, and a release hearing before of a jury of 6 people. In March, the judge ordered the mental health facility to evaluate Proesel mental health and appointed him a public defender.

Current delays in the evaluation process has now pushed the psychiatric evaluation deadline back. Later in March, the mental health facility said they were not able to meet the original deadline of April 23rd and requested an eight week extension. The report containing the details of Proesel’s mental health is set to be delivered to the Judge Seldin by June 18th.

A view from a chairlift at Aspen HiglandsCredit: mycoloradolife.com

Proesel was charged with throwing a 28-year-old snowboarder off the Lodge Peak chairlift at around 9:30am on January 17, 2016. The Aspen Times reported that the snowboarder apparently had made a harmless comment regarding skiers being able to get face-shots of fresh powder easier than snowboarders. The snowboarder fell 20-25 feet off near the top of the chairlift into a patch of fresh snow. Thankfully it was a powder day!

Thomas Proesel was diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Dr. Charles Harrison of the mental health institute in Pueblo diagnosed Proesel after a 3 hour interview. Proesel suffers from severe symptoms of paranoia and delusions that people are trying to hurt him.


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