Inmate makes escape from police at courthouse

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— A Routt County Jail inmate in foot and hand restraints attempted to flee from authorities by hiding in a Dumpster after a court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

Jaime M. Aragon, 31, of Mexico faces a petty charge of escape for attempting to run from the Routt County Courthouse, Sheriff John Warner said.

Aragon "ran down the alley and jumped in a Dumpster," Warner said. "He tried to cover himself with Styrofoam peanuts."

Prior to the incident, Aragon appeared in Routt County Court for a Sept. 21 arrest. Aragon was arrested by the Steamboat Springs Police Department for driving with a revoked license and disregarding a stop sign.

At about 1 p.m., two deputies transported Aragon and eight other inmates from the jail to the courthouse.

After each of the inmates had cases addressed by Judge James Garrecht, the prisoners were escorted out of the facility.

"As they were walking out of the courthouse, (Aragon) decided to bolt," Warner said.

The deputies stayed with the rest of the inmates and called for help.

Warner and three other deputies went to the area to look for the man.

Deputies were able to find where the man was hiding thanks to a tip from a witness who watched the man run from the deputies, Warner said.

Aragon "speaks little English," Warner said.

"We had a tough time talking to him, but little trouble taking him into custody."

Once Aragon's legal trouble is cleared up, the Immigration and Naturalization Service will take him back to Mexico, Warner said.

Because of the incident, Warner will not change any of his office's practices when transporting inmates from the jail and the courthouse.

"I believe this is one more reason we need to support a new courthouse facility," Warner said. "Transporting these inmates poses a serious risk to my officers and the general public."

Warner's comments come at a time when the county is working on a proposed $17 million judicial facility.

A committee examining the issue is expected to meet at 6 p.m. tonight in the district courtroom.

Plans and drawings will be unveiled this evening, and Routt County Commissioners will take up the issue next week.

Once a plan is formulated, county officials expect to take the issue to the public for funding.

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