Homeless Veteran Will Be Released From Jail

By: Kendra Potter Email
By: Kendra Potter Email

The homeless veteran arrested Wednesday for living beside a local highway will be released from jail with having to post bond.

Roy Gleiter made his first court appearance Thursday. A magistrate allowed Gleiter to use a personal recognizance bond. This means Gleiter will be released from jail without posting bond by promising to show up in court.

The magistrate allowed his release, if Gleiter promised to stay a homeless shelter until his next court appearance. According to Gleiter's attorney, Matt Martin, he will stay a local homeless shelter in Pueblo arranged by Posada.

Gleiter was arrested Wednesday for trespassing and unlawful conduct on public property. For six months, he lived in a tent off Highway 50 in Eastern Pueblo County. The Colorado Department of Transportation had the State Patrol arrest him when he refused to leave, after giving him a notice to vacate.

“People can't just simply build their home on the side of the highway. It's a very dangerous place,” said CDOT spokesperson Stacey Stegman.

Gleiter's blue tent was torn down and all his belongings towed away.

Officials say they were sympathetic to his situation and his cause for as long as they could be.

“We've known that he's been here and we have turned our heads for six months. Because we know people fall on hard times, we want to see him succeed, and to continue on his journey,” said Stegman.

Stegman says all his belongings were inventoried and videotaped, and will be stored at a Liever’s towing impound lot until Gleiter can claim it.

“In America we have rules and we have boundaries. You can’t just build your home on the side of the highway; cars can hit your home. There are rules for a reason, and that’s to protect public safety and that’s what we want here. We don’t want to see motorists endangered, and we certainly don’t want to see Gleiter or the woman with him endangered,” said Stegman.

The elderly woman living with him, 73-year-old Debra Cowden was taken to Parkview Medical Center for evaluation. There is no update on her condition.

Gleiter also had two dogs in the camp. They were taken to Pueblo Animal Services.

Gleiter will be released from jail Thursday night. Martin, his attorney, is working the case for free, saying even the homeless need someone to protect their rights.

“My job is to protect his rights, whatever it takes,” said Martin. He added, “He has a first amendment right to protest, no question about that. He has a constitutional right to travel freely throughout the country. And he has a right to be free from selective criminal prosecution. Also, a right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures,” said Martin.

Martin says he is still unclear what type of legal action they will take on the issue. While he may understand the trespassing accusation, he doesn’t believe Martin is a nuisance.

CDOT has said that if anyone can offer land or another solution for Gleiter, they'll be happy to deliver his things to that location.

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  • by CowValley Location: Texas on Feb 11, 2012 at 02:32 AM
    Information: Debra Cowden is 59,not 73. She has been on the road with Roy for 19 years, not 25. Roy Gleiter was enlisted for 11 months, depending on his MOS he would have been with a unit for 5-6 mos max (could've been a medical separation). Roy Gleiter is 53 so he was 16 when the fall of Saigon occurred. It is known that they are both in a hotel room pending disposition of the charges and property. I also understand that the dogs are being taken care of by another couple until they resume their travels.
  • by Molly Location: La Junta on Feb 1, 2012 at 05:40 PM
    http://www.facebook.com/events/250882128313849/ Anyone interested in helping Roy or educating themselves about his progress, visit this event on Facebook. It's public. If you do not believe in Roy's cause, that's fine but PLEASE do not spam the page with negative comments or posts. The event is in no way being solicited upon you, so do not solicit yourself upon it. Thanks, Molly
  • by Ken Location: lamar on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:46 PM
    This is a sad story. I pray for this guy. I hope all goes well and people continue to help him out..
  • by patricia Location: pueblo on Jan 19, 2012 at 05:11 PM
    Hello, I would gladly allow this man and his dogs and all of his belongings to come and take up all the space in our back yard.. Please contact me thru facebook...
    • reply
      by Molly on Feb 1, 2012 at 05:42 PM in reply to patricia
      http://www.facebook.com/events/250882128313849/ Roy's cause on Facebook
  • by Jim Location: C/S on Jan 19, 2012 at 04:54 PM
    Funny how often the Golden Rule is often applied - you know, "He who has the gold, makes the rules, that everyone else has to follow".
  • by LedHed Location: Colorado Springs on Jan 19, 2012 at 01:31 PM
    I heard Roy being interviewed, and he sounded lucid and well-spoken, but to let him stay at his encampment ad infinitum was wrong, and I'm glad the authorities intervened. As for "Anna"; I tried to respond to your reply of my previous post, but was unable to do so, so let me just say that your self-righteous indignation is utterly transparent, and your ignorance of the law undermines any point you might have made. Insolent fool, indeed!
  • by Native Location: CO on Jan 19, 2012 at 01:10 PM
    What a set up. This clown was just waiting for someone to make a move so he could sue. He chose a really worthless attorney, though. Bet he pulls a better one out of his cooler now for the big show. How many Colorado tax dollars will he walk away with?
  • by tom smithwick Location: 80918 on Jan 19, 2012 at 09:56 AM
    Man sets up residence on unused land of which he is clearly the first occupier. Group of men bring guns to kidnap him, lock him up and steal his stuff. To determine the actual criminals in this circumstance, we have to ask, who used unprovoked aggression and force to 'resolve' this situation? This man’s fight is all of our fight, he tried to live in ‘the kings forest’ and met resistance from those paid by stolen funds. Good people, who have unfortunately accepted amoral orders by their bosses.
    • reply
      by August on Apr 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM in reply to tom smithwick
      RIGHT ON!
  • by watching Location: USA on Jan 19, 2012 at 07:39 AM
    His "attorney" is claiming to not know when he sees the judge, how to get the dogs back, etc. Obviously just in this for some free advertisement. Not the kind of attorney I would want. Simple procedures elude him. Typical ambulance chaser! This veteran (of 11 months) is playing you all for fools and winning.
  • by Bradman on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:33 AM
    This guy is an idiot. He talks about taking opportunities but is an unsanitary scar on the side of the road. He makes up these big stories of what he is trying to accomplish but has been sitting in his own excrement for six months. It's taken him 5 years to get this far! He just uses his crazy talk to live wherever he wants. If you want to make a point, then move on. That poor old lady is just going to die and he will leave her in a ditch. There is nothing noble about this and the people that support him are just as crazy as he is.
    • reply
      by h( on Jan 19, 2012 at 01:22 PM in reply to Bradman
      YOU'RE CRAZY, and heartless! All of you putting him down, are so frickin perfect, huh? You're God, is that it? Also, you should be calling him your nickname!
    • reply
      by Shawn on Jan 24, 2012 at 09:13 PM in reply to Bradman
      Bradman, you are the idiot! Have you sat down with this man? Have you wondered if what happened to him, would happen to you? I dont think you have any idea on what this whole situation is about and you should really keep your mouth shut. You dont like what i said?.... come see me!!!
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