No charges in Costco incident involving commissioner

Rowland says investigation is complete, case closed


No charges will be filed relating to an incident that occurred Jan. 4 at the Parker Costco and involved Commissioner Robert Rowland.
Rowland had filed a report with the Parker police claiming to have been verbally harassed and then physically assaulted by a woman who, he said, was critical of his performance as an Elbert County commissioner.
The incident happened Jan. 4 when Rowland was shopping for a chair and talking on the phone to his wife.
“I was using Facetime to show my wife some chairs and this woman I didn't know came right up in my face,” said Rowland. “I was holding my phone out in front of me taking pictures and said, `Excuse me ma'am. But I'm talking to my wife right now. I'd be happy to talk with you if you could wait a minute.' But the woman kept right on talking and getting more and more aggressive.”
At one point while still on the phone, Rowland said he apologized to the woman for not being able to talk and walked down the aisle. But according to Rowland, the woman followed him and continued her verbal harangue. “Then she grabbed my coat and began to get very physical,” he said.
Rowland said he eventually disengaged himself and walked away from the woman.
“Then I finished shopping and left the store,” he said.
Driving home, Rowland related the incident in a phone call to Sheriff Shane Heap, who encouraged the commissioner to file a report with the Parker police.
So Rowland made a U-turn and filed a police report.
After the incident, Rowland said the Parker police checked with Costco and found out “the aisle where it happened does not have a video monitor.”
But several days later, Rowland recognized the woman while driving through the Safeway parking lot in Elizabeth and reported her license plate number to police.
Parker police subsequently contacted the woman, who lives in Kiowa.
“She told police she didn't touch me,” Rowland said. “Because there was no video, it was basically my word against hers, you know, she said, he said.”
Parker police officer Greg Epp investigated the incident.
When informed that no charges were going to be filed against the woman, Rowland said, “I had no problem with that. I was just doing what the sheriff had advised me to do. It really wasn't that big a deal.”


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