Rainbow hippies arrested after Nederland brawl
Boulder Daily Camera
Originally published 09:38 a.m., July 16, 2008
Updated 09:38 a.m., July 16, 2008
Five members of the “Rainbow Family” — the loose-knit band of hippies that
preaches love, peace and harmony, and is best known for its huge gatherings every
July — were arrested Tuesday night by Boulder County sheriff’s deputies after a
violent brawl broke out at the group’s Nederland campsite.
Deputies responded at about 6:30 p.m. to a report that a fight had broken out
among a group of about a dozen people camping out in the area of Ruby Gulch,
located on state Forest Service property along the Peak to Peak Highway between
the towns of Nederland and Ward.
When deputies arrived, witnesses said one man, a Nederland resident aged 34 or 35,
was hit in the back of the head multiple times with a shovel and possibly stabbed
in the neck during the fight, Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Lindsey said.
Some witnesses reported a second person being stabbed, although no other victims
were located, Lindsey said.
“No one could tell us who was stabbed,” Lindsey said. “We still haven’t got much
The injured man, whose name was not immediately released, had to be air-lifted to
St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver. He has not been able to speak with
investigators about the incident, Lindsey said.
Soon after the fight, sheriff’s deputies and Nederland police contacted a bus
filled with as many as 12 people leaving the area of the reported fight, Lindsey
Andrew Joseph, 24, was arrested on suspicion of felony assault and menacing.
Three others — Patrick Register, 25, Jaron Smith, 30, and Jerry Mullenix, 34 —
were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault for allegedly being involved in
Ari Perlman, 34, was arrested on an active warrant, Lindsey said.
Sheriff’s officials said everyone allegedly involved in the fight were part of a
“splinter group” of Rainbow Family members who earlier this month were kicked out
of a campsite in Pinedale, Wyo., after the group became “very violent.”
Lindsey said about 100 members of the larger gathering have so far made their way
to the Nederland area. Authorities, he said, are keeping their eyes on them.
“They’re coming out still,” Lindsey said. “We always have patrols there. Every
year, there have been problems (at the campsite).”
In 2006, a member of the Rainbow Family angered over another family member’s
refusal to help him “regulate” others camping at Ruby Gulch stabbed him in the
neck, according to the sheriff‘s office.
Joshua Sunchild Silva, known by his Rainbow name of Karma Chip, faced first-degree
assault and felony menacing charges in the stabbing of Gilbert Hernandez, 31.