Man eludes police for 12 hours

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After escaping from a Steamboat Springs police car early Thursday morning and spending the wee hours of the morning on the run, a 22-year-old Colorado Mountain College student was arrested Thursday afternoon in his home.

Nicholas Ray Murphy, 22 of Steamboat Springs, escaped in handcuffs from the back of the patrol car early Thursday morning in Ski Time Square. The police spent the next 12 hours searching for Murphy, Capt. Joel Rae said.

Murphy was apprehended at his home in the 200 block of Fourth Street at about 2:15 p.m. Officer Dale Coyner was watching the house and saw the front door open and then slam shut. Coyner asked Murphy to come out, and he did without a fight, Rae said.

Murphy had the handcuffs dangling from one of his hands when he was arrested.

The night before, at about 1:45 a.m., Murphy was stopped by police in Ski Time Square because college-age people were hanging onto the back of his vehicle and "street skiing" behind it, Rae said.

As police Officer Nate Morton interviewed Murphy, he noticed the man showed visible signs of intoxication. Murphy was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, and was then handcuffed and placed in the back of Morton's police car.

When Morton went back to Murphy's black pickup, the man escaped from the police car. Police think that Murphy was able to slide one hand out of the handcuff and then roll down the window and open the door. Rae said the officer most likely had the window controls unlocked.

The police searched the Ski Time Square area for the rest of the night and impounded Murphy's vehicle.

Murphy told the police he spent the rest of the night outside somewhere behind Market on the Mountain, which is on Village Drive. The man appeared to be physically OK.

After being arrested Thursday afternoon, Murphy was taken to the Routt County Jail. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, escaping and driving with obstructed license plates. He was released from jail on a $750 bond.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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