Jonathan Tarr is suspected of causing a blast at the former Broker Inn in Boulder on April 13, 2016. Pictured: Packaged for labeling shatter hash made using "BHO" butane hash oil extraction. (Joe Amon,The Denver Post)

Boulder police arrest suspect in Broker Hotel hash oil extraction explosion

BOULDER — Boulder police last weekend arrested the man accused of causing a hash oil explosion at the Rodeway Inn & Suites Boulder Broker Hotel in April — an arrest delayed by almost two months after a hospital released him without notifying investigators.

Jonathan Tarr, 34, initially was detained by police on April 20, but was then taken to get medical treatment for burns sustained in the explosion.

Jonathan Tarr was taken in an ambulance after the hash oil extraction explosion in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick, Daily Camera)
Jonathan Tarr was taken in an ambulance after the hash oil extraction explosion in Boulder.
(Cliff Grassmick, The Daily Camera)

Staff at the University of Colorado Hospital mistakenly discharged Tarr without notifying police, according to Boulder police spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly.

Police obtained a warrant, and Tarr was arrested Sunday by police responding to a narcotics complaint near 21st Street and Canyon Boulevard, Cordingly said.

Tarr faces counts of first- and fourth-degree arson, unlawful extraction of marijuana concentrate, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, drug possession and failure to comply charges.

He also is facing charges of drug possession and attempt to influence an official in connection with the narcotics complaint on Sunday.

Tarr is being held at the Boulder County Jail on $100,000 bond.

He is suspected of causing a blast at the former Broker Inn, 555 30th St., on April 13. Police confirmed the explosion was a result of the highly volatile practice of butane hash oil extraction.

Police said it appeared the people in the room had been extracting the oil in the bathroom.The explosion took down the wall between the bathroom and the rest of the room before blowing out the window and the door.

Police at the time said nobody was injured in the blast, though one Broker Inn employee hurt an ankle while evacuating.

According to an arrest affidavit, witnesses saw a man later identified as Tarr “acting crazy,” and telling people to call police near the room shortly after the explosion. One witness said Tarr grabbed a black duffel bag from the room and was spotted by another witness leaving the building with burns on his hands.

The woman who was renting the room — who police noted had no burn injuries — said Tarr was a transient friend of hers who would occasionally use the room. She said she had previously seen him carrying around butane, which is used in the hash oil extraction process.

Tarr’s prints and cellphone were also found at the scene, according to the affidavit.

Tarr was located on April 20 in the 2000 block of Hermosa Drive.

He has a previous criminal history in Colorado, Georgia and Wyoming that includes arrests for robbery, assault and various drug-related charges, according to the affidavit.

The cost of the damage was estimated to be $10,000.

Hash oil is made by running butane or another solvent through a tube filled with dried marijuana clippings, leaving behind an oily liquid that can be solidified by heating the mixture to evaporate the butane.

But the process is volatile and can result in explosions if the room being used is not properly ventilated, and is illegal without the proper permits.

Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, or

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