BOULDER, Colo. –
Seven self-proclaimed members of the Rainbow Family â and one Boulder resident who’s not part of the traveling hippies â face municipal fines after police found them sleeping on the roof of the Boulder Public Library.
A custodian spotted the inventive campers on top of the 1001 Arapahoe Ave. library â on the north side of the building by Canyon Boulevard â about 6:10 a.m. Wednesday and called police. Officers found eight people passed out in sleeping bags with their belongings scattered around and with two small dogs, said Boulder police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley.
“There is no easy access onto the roof, so they would have had to climb up the side of the building and use landscaping,” Huntley said.
Initially, police calls to the campers went unanswered, and they asked the Boulder Fire Department to help them get the campers down. Three police officers climbed fire truck ladders to get on the roof, where Huntley said they immediately saw a man and woman sleeping next to each other in sleeping bags.
Nearby they found more campers “sound asleep” among their belongings, along with the small dogs, Huntley said.
“(The officers) had to announce themselves several times to wake the parties,” she said. “Everyone was escorted off the roof and placed under arrest at 7:05 a.m.”
Seven of the suspects told officers they belong to the Rainbow Family â a band of hippies that preaches love, tolerance and peace and holds gatherings every July â and said they’re just passing through Boulder after the annual event in New Mexico.
They told police they had taken some illegal psychedelic drugs before climbing on the library roof, Huntley said.
Christine Hodge, 22, Joshua Cole, 21, Aaron Waldeck, 19, Kirstin Humason, 21, Eli Dworkin, 19, Thaddeus O’Hail, 18, and Salvatore Gelosos, 22, were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing and camping. K. Wheeler, whose full name and age weren’t immediately released by police, also was issued a summons and released.
Huntley said the seven Rainbow Family members were booked into the Boulder County Jail because “they have no local ties.” Wheeler wasn’t jailed because he lives in Boulder.
“Wheeler just saw the others getting on the roof and followed them at about 10 p.m.,” Huntley said. “Wheeler is not part of the Rainbow group.”
Most of the Rainbow Family members were released from jail hours after they were booked on personal-recognizance bonds. Waldeck was still being held on two separate bonds â $250 for the trespassing charge and $100 for the camping charge â on Thursday. He’s due in Boulder County Court on Friday.
The campers’ two dogs were taken to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.
This year’s Rainbow gathering was held in Cuba, N.M., during the first week of July. About 10,500 people and their pets gathered for the weeklong party in the Jemez Mountains in the Sante Fe National Forest, according to The Sante Fe New Mexican.
Leading up to the gathering, law enforcement officers in Cuba recorded more than 370 incidents involving the Rainbow Family and issued about 120 violation notices, according to the New Mexican. Most of the notices related to alcohol, drugs and traffic violations.
Huntley said Boulder police haven’t had much contact with Rainbow Family members this summer. In previous years, especially when the gathering was in Colorado, family members would infiltrate the town in the weeks before and after the event.
“So far it has been pretty quiet,” Huntley said.
The Rainbow Family started hosting annual gatherings in 1972 when thousands of people convened near Colorado’s Strawberry Lake in Roosevelt National Forest. The gathering since has visited numerous states from coast to coast, and they returned to Colorado again in 1992 and again in 2006.
A member of the Rainbow Family, who’s staying in Boulder and knows the people arrested for sleeping on the library Wednesday, said they’ve recently been spending time on the Pearl Street Mall and playing music near the corner of Pearl and 11th streets.
“I don’t know what they were thinking to climb on a public building with seven dirty hippies and two dogs,” said the man, who would only give his hippie name, Crystal Biscuit.