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Maserati crash in Colorado Springs transforms Oriental medicine master into hit-and-run suspect

September 21, 2017 Updated: September 22, 2017 at 8:36 am
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Photo of Seth Vanderiet, 45. (Photo by Colorado Springs Police)

A man whose online bio describes him as an abused child who grew up to be an outlaw biker and drug dealer, then became a practitioner of ancient Chinese healing arts, appears to have gone rogue again, according to Colorado Springs police.

Seth Vanderiet was racing a Maserati on East Platte Avenue around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, police said, when he rammed the luxury Italian sports car into the rear of a pickup near North Chelton Road, flipping the truck onto its top and seriously injuring two of its three occupants.

He tried to get away on foot, but was caught by officers nearby, police said in an online report.

Vanderiet was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, vehicular assault and reckless driving causing serious bodily injury, among other charges. He was released from the El Paso County jail Thursday afternoon after posting $10,000 bail, inmate records showed.

Public records show that a Seth Bartholomew Vanderiet was born in August 1972. Jail records show the Seth Bartholomew Vanderiet who was booked and later posted bail was born on Aug. 20, 1972. Colorado Springs police could not verify his date of birth, only that he is 45 years old.

Attempts to contact Vanderiet after his release were unsuccessful, but on the website sethvandereit.brandyourself.com, he identifies himself as the owner and operator of Satori Healthcare Clinic in Aspen and Glenwood Springs and Imperial Medicinals Inc. in Boulder, where patients can receive acupuncture and other Asian and alternative treatments.

Few of the links on the site are working, and calls to the single number for both clinics went unanswered.

In his online bio, Vanderiet relates a bleak childhood as “an adopted, abused and abandoned child bounced from broken home to foster homes and back again and eventually was on the streets and his own, for good, at 15 years old.”

He describes his transformation from hard-core biker and high school dropout into a substance abuse counselor working with teenagers at an inpatient facility at an Aspen-area hospital.

Next, came a 20-year apprenticeship under a Chinese “master” of tai chi, qigong and acupuncture, leading to his career as a “top-rated" national practitioner of Oriental medicine, the website states. He claims to have a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine, but does not identify the institution that issued it.

Vanderiet, whose website spells has last name Van De Riet, listed among his specialties treating combat veterans for traumatic brain injuries and PTSD,  He also claimed to have developed treatment to relieve the stress of working in law enforcement and had associations with police and sheriff’s agencies in six Western Slope counties. A spokesperson for one of those, Pitkin County, said they had never heard of Vanderiet.

“I, like many of you, have been utterly crushed in life. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually,” Vanderiet wrote on his website. “Yet, I have risen up to heal and help others.”

John Henry Parker, the co-founder of Purple Star Veterans and Families whom Vanderiet quotes on his website, said he had met Vanderiet multiple times and experienced his Chinese medicine treatment at his clinic.

“He has a high volume of experience and seems to be very strong in his art and craft,” Parker said.

The one working link on the website is to a Houghton Mifflin College Survival scholarship essay contest that lists Vanderiet as a 1995 winner while he was at Colorado Mountain College. 

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