It was late in the workday July 2, and Pam Penton was getting ready to leave her job at the information desk just inside the Jefferson County Courts and Administration Building.
And then things turned weird.
A man outfitted from head to toe in Revolutionary War regalia, accompanied by two children in similar garb, asked where he could find the commissioners’ offices. The man also was carrying an American flag on a 5-foot pole.
“I didn’t think anything of it,” Penton said. “It’s the holiday season, and I thought he may have been in a parade or something. I thought it was kind of exciting.”
Penton directed the man to the fifth-floor commissioner offices but reminded him that he had little time because the offices were about to close.
Once upstairs, the man tried to enter the commissioners’ offices, but the doors leading to that area are locked. Chris Miller, an administrative specialist working at a desk outside the commissioners’ offices, asked if she could help.
“He said he had something for the commissioners,” Miller said. “He gave me a letter and asked who was up here.”
“My thought was he was from a Boy Scout troop, and he came from rehearsals for a parade or something,” Miller said. She added that the man smiled and was very polite.
“I didn’t think it was all that strange,” Miller continued. “But it took on a different meeting with the guard came up.”
Miller was referring to a Jeffco sheriff’s deputy who arrived a couple of minutes after the anachronistic trio. The deputy talked with the costumed man for a minute, and then he and the kids headed for the elevators and left, Miller said.
The man apparently was Edgardo Acosta, who was delivering a letter to the commissioners that outlines a confrontation he had with some Jeffco deputies on July 1, 2007, in a mountain park. Acosta said the deputies had unfairly roughed him up and charged him with obstructing a peace officer.
Writer Mott, an assistant county attorney who handles cases for the sheriff’s office, said Acosta has filed a notice of claim related to the incident, so he couldn’t comment on the matter.
“But in general, the sheriff’s office vigorously disputes Mr. Acosta’s version of events,” Mott said.
Linda Fine, a secretary in the commissioners’ office who took the letter from Miller, said Acosta had submitted two letters prior to this one, both referencing incidents from roughly a year before the letters were handed in.
“They’ve all been about something that happened a year ago,” Fine said. She said the letters are on file.
Fine wasn’t surprised Acosta had apparently dropped off another letter, but his style of dress did raise some eyebrows.
“It was very strange,” Fine said. “It was rather odd to me.”
Fine guessed that the Revolutionary War costume was designed to be noticed.
“He got what he wanted,” Fine said. “He wanted attention, and now he’s got it.”