Steamboat business owner arrested after allegedly imprisoning police inside restaurant
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Steamboat Springs business owner faces multiple felony charges after allegedly locking two police officers inside his downtown restaurant Sunday.
Kyle Love, 34, who owns the Italian restaurant Ciao Gelato, was arrested Monday afternoon on a warrant for a dispute that occurred in the business, according to an arrest affidavit obtained from the Routt County Justice Center.
He faces six criminal charges, including extortion, attempting to influence a public servant and false imprisonment, all felonies. He also faces the misdemeanor charges of obstructing a peace officer, second-degree criminal tampering and harassment.
At 11:38 a.m. Sunday, Steamboat Springs Police Department officers responded to the restaurant, at 912 Lincoln Ave. Two co-owners of a business within the same building who called police were arguing with Love about a maintenance bill, according to the affidavit.
The co-owners tried to explain the situation to officers, but Love repeatedly interrupted them and demanded that the officers leave.
“You need to leave my property now, or I’ll make every customer leave and lock the doors so you’re locked in,” Love told police, according to the affidavit.
The officers told Love that receiving a 911 call gave them lawful reason to be there, and they needed to investigate the incident. Love continued to order them to leave, threatening to lock them inside the restaurant if they did not.
One of the officers took Love by the wrist and escorted him into the dining room, according to the affidavit. As a third officer was trying to enter the business, Love got up and locked the front door to the street, which is shared with a neighboring restaurant, Steamboat Smokehouse, which Love also owns.
After Love locked the door, the third officer was unable to get inside the building.
Love then locked a second door that serves as the main entrance to Ciao Gelato. He refused to unlock either door or give up the keys, according to the affidavit. In the arrest report, one of the officers stated they felt threatened by Love and feared for their own safety.
In subsequent interviews, the co-owners of the adjoining business told officers that Love has verbally harassed them in the past. According to the affidavit, he has sporadic episodes of agitation, during which he calls them obscene names. They told officers these episodes make them feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
“They are in fear that he will try to physically assault them,” the affidavit states. “The pair feel as though Love is manipulating them and taking advantage of them to get money.”
After a judge issued a warrant for Love’s arrest, officers booked him into the Routt County Jail at 3:18 p.m. Monday. He has since posted his $2,000 bond.
The Justice Center is awaiting bond information from the jail before scheduling a court appearance, which should be set by Wednesday.