Aspen Chairlift Pusher Unconditionally Released From Custody of State Psychiatric Hospital

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Thomas Proesel

In 2016, Thomas Proesel was charged with throwing a snowboarder 25-feet off a chairlift at Aspen Highlands, CO. Proesel pleaded insanity so that he wasn’t charged as guilty and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Proesel suffers from severe paranoia and delusions that people are trying to hurt him, and he was committed after being found not guilty of the assault because of insanity.

On Monday 21st June, 2021, Proesel was unconditionally released from the custody of the state psychiatric hospital, reports the Aspen Times.

According to a Colorado forensic psychiatrist, Proesel, now 36, “no longer suffers from an impaired mental condition and has no abnormal mental conditions which would be likely to cause him to be dangerous to either himself or to others or to the community in the reasonably foreseeable future.”

“Further, (Proesel) is capable of distinguishing right from wrong and has substantial capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.”

– Forensic psychiatrist

The victim did not object to the release, although he did comment that he would rather the defendant was banned from all Colorado ski areas.

Proesel himself petitioned the court for release in April 2018, though the petition was later withdrawn, according to court records.

Proesel was charged with throwing a 28-year-old snowboarder off the Lodge Peak chairlift at around 9:30 am on January 17, 2016. The snowboarder apparently had made a harmless comment regarding skiers getting 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!

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