Man accused of dressing as search and rescue, sexually assaulting woman on Boulder County trail

Aug. 10—A Northglenn man has been arrested after reportedly disguising himself as a search and rescue responder and sexually assaulting a woman on a trail.

William Tidwell, 50, was arrested Monday on suspicion of unlawful sexual contact by force, second-degree assault and impersonation of a public servant.

According to the release, on July 25, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a sexual assault and assault near Caribou Road and Forest Service Road 505 in unincorporated Boulder County, outside of Nederland.

A woman reported that she was hiking in the area when a man approached her while driving a “search and rescue vehicle.” The man offered her a ride to a different trail in the area before proceeding to sexually and physically assault her. She was able to leave the man and immediately reported the incident to the sheriff’s office.

According to the release, the woman described the man as a white, bald, in his 50s and with a mostly gray beard. She told police he was wearing a green collared shirt styled to look like a search and rescue uniform shirt and believed him to be a part of an official search and rescue organization.

An arrest warrant was obtained and an investigation continued.

The release did not indicate what led investigators to Tidwell, who was arrested by Idaho Springs police on a warrant.

Tidwell is being held on a $500,000 bond and is set for a formal filing of charges on Tuesday.

Officials said in the release they believe there may be additional victims and witnesses. Anyone with information is encouraged to call sheriff’s Detective Garrett Eastman at 303-441-3633 or email and reference case No. 23-04025.

Assisting agencies included Boulder County Digital Forensic Lab, Northglenn Police Department, Idaho Springs Police, Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office, Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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