Michael Lavelle Marks

Routt County Sheriff's Office

Michael Lavelle Marks

Man arrested after escaping from Steamboat Springs hospital


— A man has a warm place to stay and three meals a day after law enforcement officials say he escaped from Yampa Valley Medical Center on Monday and spent the night in a shed on Pamela Lane.

The incident began when Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to a report of a fight at a trailer park in Milner. When deputies arrived, Michael Lavelle Marks, 43, had a laceration to his face and was taken to the hospital. Marks was not arrested at that time, but Undersheriff Ray Birch said a deputy and Colorado State Patrol trooper accompanied Marks to the hospital.

After interviewing witnesses, Birch said deputies think Marks was intoxicated when he got confrontational after being asked to leave a man’s trailer. Birch said that the man took Marks to the ground and punched him and that Marks made threats as he started to leave.

“Essentially, he threatened to go get a gun,” Birch said.

When Marks returned to the trailer, he had his hand behind his back, and then deputies arrived, Birch said. Marks did not have a weapon on him.

After interviewing witnesses, deputies decided to arrest Marks, but they did not have the opportunity Monday night. Birch said hospital workers were taking Marks to an X-ray room when he ran out of the emergency room wearing hospital stockings. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers and deputies followed footprints, but they lost the trail and did not find Marks until the next morning.

Steamboat police Sgt. Rich Brown said officers were called to a report of a suspicious person on Pamela Lane. Marks reportedly had spent the night in a shed.

Marks was arrested and again was taken to the hospital with possible frostbite, Brown said. On Tuesday afternoon, Marks was released from the hospital and taken to the Routt County Jail. Birch said he was booked on suspicion of felony menacing, harassment and for violating a protection order that forbid Marks from drinking alcohol.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com


Scott Wedel 2 years ago

Does it take time to find if someone has a protection order such as not being allowed to drink alcohol?

If I worked at the hospital then I'd be upset that officers left someone there whom knew there were solid grounds to be arrested.

Surely alcohol had to be suspected and probably quickly detected once at the hospital. So did officers not know about the alcohol restraining order? Or did they not care?

Nothing to fire anyone over, but I think it was a mistake to leave someone whom will soon enough be arrested at the hospital. And thus, the police dept should figure out why the officers left him when he was to be arrested and see if they could improve their checks so that it doesn't happen again.


rhys jones 2 years ago

Not that I'm arguing, Scott, but do you know how much X-rays are these days?


bill schurman 2 years ago

Stepped out for donuts??? Did I say that ? Shame on me.


Scott Wedel 2 years ago

Or maybe if he is arrested then the county has to pay the medical bills of a prisoner. But if not arrested then he has to pay his medical bills. So then Sheriff's dept does not arrest people until they are released from the hospital.


rhys jones 2 years ago

Scott -- Your legal acumen yet astounds me. County ain't gonna pay, not if they're responsible for this guy, so the hospital bills him, (including a percentage of the overhead of every piece of equipment on the property) which of course he can't pay, so they write it off as a business loss on their taxes, the doctors still get by, everybody's happpy, and ain't indigents great? We make the world go 'round. Thanks for spoiling my joke.


Scott Wedel 1 year, 12 months ago


If county is responsible for the person then they have to pay. Hospital is not going to let county prisoners get free medical service.

Maybe this guy cannot pay his medical bills. County does not care about that. Sheriff's dept objective is for them to avoid paying medical bills

Thus, it appears that Sheriff's dept does not arrest suspects on the way to the hospital. Their policy is to arrest them when they are released from the hospital.


jerry carlton 1 year, 12 months ago

Being a criminal defense attorney of public defender is a much more noble profession than a police officer. Trying to get the guilty found not guilty when you know they are guilty? Sounds like a noble profession to me even if they eat donuts.


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