Sydney Spies & mother arrested

Police bust party with ‘numerous underage drinkers’

Sydney Spies Enlarge photo

Sydney Spies

Sydney Spies, the former Durango High School student who gained international attention for her submission of a racy yearbook photo, was arrested early Monday in Durango, along with her mother.

Spies, 18, is suspected of obstructing a police officer, a misdemeanor. She was released early Monday from the La Plata County Jail on $500 bail.

Her mother, Denise “Miki” Spies, 45, was arrested on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – a felony, and obstructing a police officer and resisting arrest – both misdemeanors. She was released early Monday on $10,000 bail.

When contacted by The Durango Herald on Monday afternoon, Miki Spies declined to comment.

Police said “numerous” underage partygoers were drinking alcohol when they arrived about 11:20 p.m. Sunday at 1102 Oak Drive in northeast Durango.

Upon seeing police, several partygoers jumped a chain-link fence in the backyard and fled up a steep hill behind the house.

Miki Spies, who owns the house, was at home at the time, police said. Police said there was a keg of beer, bottles of liquor and numerous red plastic cups filled with alcoholic beverages.

Police continue to investigate who bought the alcohol, but when an adult provides a location for minors to drink, it is a crime, said Sgt. Geary Parsons, with the Durango Police Department.

Miki Spies refused to give her name, identification and date of birth, according to police reports. She attempted to “herd the crowd of partygoers into her house,” according to a report by officer Darrell Robertson.

“Ms. Spies asked me why she needed to provide her identification,” the officer wrote. “I explained to Ms. Spies that her being the homeowner along with the copious amount of alcoholic beverages present, and with numerous underage persons in attendance, she was contributing to the delinquency of minors, a felony offense.”

Police attempted to detain her for questioning, but she “broke into a full sprint for her front door,” according to an incident report.

Police chased her into the house and into her bedroom, where she attempted to slam the door on police. She was arrested after a brief struggle, Parsons said.

Her actions prevented officers from detaining minors who had not yet fled the scene, Robertson wrote in his report.

“Due to the actions of Ms. Spies, by the time I was able to return to identify those who were under the age of 18, they had all fled the area and I was unable to identify them,” he wrote.

Sydney Spies attempted to block a police officer from entering the house, Parsons said.

She also pulled and tugged against officers when they tried to place her in handcuffs, he said. She refused to walk on her own to a police car, where she was placed in the back seat. She later unbuckled the seatbelt and attempted to jump out, Parsons said.

“She nearly kicked me in the groin,” officer Robertson wrote in his report.

A neighbor who asked not to be identified said she could hear loud, pounding music, as if there were a DJ. “I couldn’t figure out what kind of party it was to make that much noise,” she said. “It must have been a big event.”

On her Facebook page about 4 p.m. Sunday, Miki Spies wrote, “Stop by the house and wish my Sydney girl luck. Oak ... in town.”

Sydney Spies made headlines in January by protesting the omission of a photo she submitted of herself wearing a short yellow skirt with a black shawl that exposed her shoulders and midsection for the high school yearbook. Student editors deemed it too racy.

The story logged more than 1 million hits on The Durango Herald’s website, and, within days, it was picked up by the Huffington Post, ABC News and Denver news stations. It also was published in international newspapers and websites.

Spies and her mother were invited to New York City to appear on the “Today Show,” where Spies called the photo “artistic.”

A few months after the controversy, Spies announced she landed a small role in a forthcoming SyFy channel movie titled “American Horror House.” The movie is scheduled to air on Halloween.

Monday’s arrest was not the first for her mother.

Miki Spies was arrested June 24 on suspicion of trespassing, resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer.

In that case, Miki Spies is accused of trespassing at River Church, 860 Plymouth Drive. Someone reported that Spies and another woman were being loud and refusing to leave the playground, which is on private property, according to an arrest affidavit.

During an interview Monday, Steve Quisenberry, a pastor at the church, said Spies was making noise and being obnoxious early in the morning. He asked her to be quiet, and she started cursing and yelling, saying the park is public property, he said.

He told her it is on private property and belongs to the church. She started using obscenities about Christians and told him to call the police, he said.

Police responded to find Spies “volatile and agitated,” wrote officer Alex Hutchison, in an arrest affidavit. She said the only reason police were called was because she is a lesbian, he said.

“I explained to her that her sexual orientation did not have any bearing on the situation and that the swing set was on private property, thus giving the owners the right to request that they leave,” Hutchison wrote.

Police asked Miki Spies for her name, and she said, “Spies,” and began to walk away. Officer Alex Hutchison asked her to stay put, and she began backing away “very quickly,” according to the affidavit.

Officers grabbed her arms and she began to scream that they were hurting her. She also yelled, “arrest me, arrest me.”

After being handcuffed, Miki Spies struggled against officers, according to the affidavit. She went limp and refused to walk to the police vehicle. She accused police of misconduct and repeatedly demanded to speak with her lawyer, according to an arrest affidavit.

“She claimed that the only reason I arrested her was because she was a lesbian and that she had never been arrested before,” the officer wrote in his affidavit.

“She asked how long I had been a police officer. I answered that I was approaching my seventh year. She then said, ‘Well, you suck at it,’” the report said.

Miki Spies continued to comment about the way Hutchison was doing his job, he said.

The officer said her eyes were glassy and her behavior was consistent with someone under the influence of alcohol.

At the jail, Miki Spies said the only reason River Church called police is because she used to be a minister there, and she was forced to quit because she was gay.

“She said she is now an atheist,” the officer wrote.

Spies has never worked as a minister at the church, Quisenberry said.

“We didn’t even know who she was when we called police at 5:55 in the morning,” he said.

Miki Spies remained uncooperative at the jail and was placed into a padded room for noncompliant detainees.

Hutchison concluded his report by saying Spies’ behavior suggests “she had the intent of being arrested.”

She told the officer she has more than 6,000 “friends” on Facebook and was going to write about the incident.

As of Monday, Miki Spies had 2,661 friends on Facebook.

A brief biography says she is a self-employed “lifestylist” who does decorating, organizing, remodeling and party planning.

“Basically I STYLE the lives people want but don’t have time for,” she wrote.

She is set for a pre-trial conference at 9 a.m. today for the case involving the River Church and is set for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 28 in her most recent case.

Sydney Spies is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 22 in La Plata County Court.

shane@durangoherald.com

Denise “Miki” Spies Enlarge photo

Denise “Miki” Spies

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