Steamboat Springs A local man led police on a brief car chase and escaped into the dark on foot early Monday morning before being arrested near Central Park Plaza five and a half hours later.
Sheriff's deputies attempted to pull over Stephen Jasper, 30, at 12:45 a.m. Monday for not having a taillight when he sped off, Routt County Undersheriff Dan Taylor said. Deputies, with assistance from Steamboat Springs police officers, followed Jasper's Jeep up Mt. Werner Road to a driveway in Memphis Belle Court in a chase that reached at least 56 mph. Jasper then jumped out of his car and fled on foot.
Police began searching for him on foot in the area around his vehicle, but were unable to locate him. Officers found two identification cards in the abandoned Jeep, one belonging to Jasper and one belonging to the vehicle's owner, Jennifer Cronchite of Greeley.
From that information, officers learned that Jasper had a Steamboat Springs address and was wanted for failure to comply with probation commitments on several warrants, including a felony warrant for first-degree criminal trespass and a misdemeanor harassment charge.
Jasper was not found until 6:32 a.m. walking down Central Park Drive in front of the Yampa Valley Medical Center.
At the time he was found, the search had been called off, police officer Nick Bosick said.
The police were tipped off to Jasper's location when they received a call from a jail deputy who was on his way home and said he saw a male and a female walking down the street. The male was Jasper and the female was Cronchite, Bosick said.
Jasper will be formally charged today, Taylor said. Along with his criminal trespass and harassment warrants, both issued in Routt County, he also has an outstanding warrant for providing alcohol to someone under 21, a misdemeanor issued in Jefferson County.