Accused shoplifter apprehended

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— A Steamboat Springs police officer had to use force Thursday to apprehend a 31-year-old Oak Creek man who allegedly attempted to steal a cart full of groceries from a local store.

Steamboat Springs Officer Paul Timmons used his baton and pepper spray to arrest Eugene Walter Vigil just after 1:30 p.m. on Pine Grove Road.

The Steamboat Springs Police Department reviewed Timmons' action because he struck Vigil in the knee about four times with the baton and used the pepper spray.

"The force that was used was appropriate for this situation," Capt. Rick Crotz said Friday.

Vigil appeared in Routt County Court Friday morning. He is being held in the Routt County Jail. He faces charges of felony menacing and misdemeanor theft and resisting arrest.

Vigil allegedly attempted to steal about $180 in groceries from City Market, 1825 Central Park Drive.

Store officials were chasing Vigil when Timmons arrived at the scene. According to court records, Vigil ran from Timmons down Pine Grove Road.

As Timmons chased the man on foot, he repeatedly shouted for the man to stop, records show.

Timmons drew his handgun, when Vigil allegedly stopped and picked up a rock. Vigil allegedly threatened to throw the rock at the officer, records show.

As Timmons approached the man, he put away his gun and pulled out his baton. When the suspect allegedly continued to disobey Timmons' orders, Vigil was hit in the left leg twice with the baton, records show.

After getting hit twice in the leg, Vigil fell to the ground and allegedly threw dirt at the officer, records show.

Timmons struck the man in the leg again after Vigil allegedly got up and attempted to run away from the officer, records show.

The officer also used pepper spray to get Vigil on the ground and under control, records show. Once Vigil was in custody, he cooperated.

Vigil's next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. June 19.

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