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Entries in Fugitive (10)

Monday
Apr092012

Washington Man on the Run from Cops Posts Facebook Updates

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(PORT ANGELES, Wash.) -- Travis A. Nicolaysen is on the run from police, but he’s still posting periodic updates on his Facebook page, and has even changed his status from “in a relationship” to “single.”

The 26-year-old from Port Angeles, Wash., is wanted by the state’s Department of Corrections for failing to check in with his community corrections officer since January.

Court records indicate Nicolaysen has been convicted of multiple misdemeanors and felonies, among them theft, assault, burglary and violating an order of protection.

On his first day on the run, a friend posted to Nicolaysen’s account: “Cops all over you.” The following day, Nicolaysen replied on his page:  "Ya got away thanks bro.”

Nicolaysen, who is also accused of assaulting his girlfriend, changed his relationship status to “single” from “in a relationship,” the Peninsula Daily News has reported.

The paper said Nicolaysen went on the lam after slipping through a police dragnet Wednesday, the paper also reported.

On Facebook, some of Nicolaysen’s friends have encouraged him to turn himself in.

Facebook’s privacy policy says the company may share information in response to a legal request “if we have a good faith belief that the law requires us to do so.” The site also has limited ability to track users using GPS and IP addresses.

Teri Newell says she helped raise Nicolaysen. She described his on-the-lam Facebook updating as “hilarious,” and said the police were heavy-handed.

She said she doesn’t know where Nicolaysen is, but added: “If he’s smart, he’s hidden away, tucked away safe.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar232012

Fugitive Sentenced After 42 Years Hiding in Plain Sight

Hemera/Thinkstock(REDWOOD CITY, Calif.) -- For 42 years, Ronald Bridgeforth lived under an alias and settled into a comfortable existence in Michigan, where he raised his family, earned a Master's degree and worked as a college guidance counselor. Nobody but his wife knew he was a fugitive, living as Cole Lee Jordan, hiding since getting into a shootout with police at a San Francisco discount store 42 years ago.

His years of hiding are over. Friday a judge sentenced Bridgeworth, 67, to one year in a county jail, followed by probation for that 1968 shootout.

Bridgeforth, who will likely only serve half of his sentence, told judge Lisa Novak his actions were "misguided" and "reckless."

"I am called to teach and I am called to heal, and I am asking you this morning to give me the opportunity to continue this work in my community," he said in court.

Police did not catch up with Bridgeforth. His conscience did.

On Nov. 5, 1968, the 23-year-old Bridgeforth opened fire on San Francisco police after he was confronted for allegedly using a stolen credit card to buy $29 worth of clothes and toys. No one was injured.

After calling ahead on Nov. 10, 2011, Bridgeforth arrived at the Hall of Justice in Redwood City, Calif., and surrendered to police.

"He said it was the right thing to do and it's all about family," Bridgeforth's attorney Paul Harris told ABC News after his client surrendered. "He wanted his sons to grow up to be the man he was today, not the young man he was on Nov. 5, 1968."

After being confronted on that day in 1968, Bridgeforth allegedly pulled a gun on the officers and fired two bullets into a police car. Police fired back, shooting him in the foot. Bridgeforth was taken into custody.

He pleaded no contest to the shooting, but jumped bail in 1969 and went to Africa for a year, where he knew no one.

"He was 23 and scared," Harris said. "His lawyer said he'd serve life in prison because California had indeterminate sentencing at that time, meaning he could be sentenced to something such as five years to life."

After a year, Bridgeforth came back to the United States and assumed a new identity as Cole Lee Jordan. He settled in to life in Ann Arbor, Mich., with his wife, Diane. Bridgeforth's two grown sons only recently learned of their father's past.

He even severed ties with his mother to keep his identity secure.

Bridgeforth got a job working as a janitor at Washtenaw Community College in 1978, according to Janet Hawkins, spokeswoman for the school.

"Throughout his work here, he went to school and took on various jobs," Hawkins said. She told ABC News Bridgeforth earned a bachelor's degree in general studies from Wayne State University in 1986 and a masters degree in counseling from Eastern Michigan in 1993.

He was licensed by the state of Michigan as a professional counselor in 1994 and became a faculty member at Washtenaw Community College in 1998, where he worked as a student adviser until 2011.

Bridgeforth knew in coming forward that he also faced charges related to the 1971 fatal shooting of an officer. He was alleged to be the getaway driver, but he denied any involvement. Harris said his client wasn't even in the state at the time of the incident.

The San Mateo deputy district attorney dropped those charges after Bridgeforth surrendered. Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti had asked a judge to sentence Bridgeworth to five years in prison.

He told ABC News he had hoped for probation, or at worst, a one year jail sentence.

Even though he gave up his freedom, Harris said Bridgeforth's family is proud of him for setting things right.

"His family is by his side right now," Harris said, adding: "[Ronald] is one of the most dignified, good people I have ever worked with."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov122011

Fugitive Surrendered After 42 Years Because It Was 'Right Thing to Do'

Comstock/Thinkstock(REDWOOD CITY, Calif.) -- Cole Lee Jordan seemed to have the classic middle class American success story, having worked his way up from being a janitor at Washtenaw Community College to earning a master's degree and becoming a guidance counselor at the school.

But Jordan was really Ronald Bridgeforth, a man who engaged police in a shootout at a San Francisco discount store on Nov. 5, 1968, after he was confronted for allegedly using a stolen credit card to buy $29 worth of clothes and toys.

Four decades later, despite living a comfortable life under his alias, Bridgeforth, 67, decided to come forward.

On Thursday, after calling ahead, Bridgeforth arrived at the Hall of Justice in Redwood City, Calif., and surrendered to police.

"He said it was the right thing to do and it's all about family," Bridgeforth's attorney Paul Harris told ABCNews.com. " He wanted his sons to grow up to be the man he was today, not the young man he was on Nov. 5, 1968."

After being confronted on that day in 1968, Bridgeforth allegedly pulled a gun on the officers and fired two bullets into a police car. Police fired back, shooting him in the foot. No officers were injured in the scuffle and Bridgeforth was taken into custody.

He pleaded no contest to the shooting, but jumped bail in 1969 and went to Africa for a year, where he knew no one.

"He was 23 and scared," Harris said. "His lawyer said he'd serve life in prison because California had indeterminate sentencing at that time, meaning he could be sentenced to something such as five years to life."

After a year, Bridgeforth came back to the United States and assumed a new identity as Cole Lee Jordan. He settled in to life in Ann Arbor, Mich., with his wife, Diane, who was the only person to share his secret. Bridgeforth's two grown sons only recently learned of their father's past.

He even severed ties with his mother to keep his identity secure.

Bridgeforth got a job working as a janitor at Washtenaw Community College in 1978, according to Janet Hawkins, spokeswoman for the school.

"Throughout his work here, he went to school and took on various jobs," Hawkins said.

She told ABCNews.com Bridgeforth earned a bachelors degree in general studies from Wayne State University in 1986 and a masters degree in counseling from Eastern Michigan in 1993.

He was licensed by the state of Michigan as a professional counselor in 1994 and became a faculty member at Washtenaw Community College in 1998, where he had worked as a student adviser ever since.

Despite exposing his past, it seems Bridgeforth is still well-loved, according to Harris. He said he expects to make Bridgeforth's $25,000 bail today, thanks to the level of support that he said has been pouring in "from all over."

Bridgeforth knew in coming forward that he also faced charges related to the 1971 fatal shooting of an officer. He was alleged to be the getaway driver, but he denied any involvement. Harris said his client wasn't even in the state at the time of the incident.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep272011

Fugitive Hijacker Caught After 40 Years

FBI(LISBON, Portugal) -- After more than 40 years on the run, a member of a group that forced FBI agents to deliver ransom money at a Miami airport in nothing but their swimsuits has been caught. George Wright, on the lam since 1970, was arrested by authorities Monday in Lisbon, Portugal.

Wright, 68, broke out of a New Jersey prison in 1970 while serving time for murdering a World War II hero, Walter Patterson, during a robbery in 1962.  He then joined up with the Black Liberation Army, hiding out for a couple years.  He allegedly returned to his criminal ways in Detroit in 1972, boarding Delta Airlines flight 841 bound for Miami with several other armed conspirators. Wright was dressed as a priest and allegedly carried a hollowed-out Bible with a gun hidden inside.

When the flight landed in Miami, the hijackers demanded $1 million in exchange for the passengers to be released safely, authorities said.  The ransom demand was one of the largest in its day and one of the most unusual. Suspect Wright and the other hijackers demanded that the FBI agents deliver the ransom in their swim trunks so the hijackers could be sure that the agents were not hiding any weapons as they approached the plane.

Once they had their money, the hijackers flew to Boston where the plane refueled before they flew to Algeria, where the team had requested asylum.  The hijackers were briefly detained but were released and they fled. The U.S. government eventually recovered the plane and the money. Wright’s associates were eventually arrested in France in 1976 but he remained a fugitive, according to authorities.

Wright was arrested Monday on a provisional arrest warrant in a joint operation with the FBI, the U.S. Marshals and the Portuguese Judiciary Police.

“The investigation into George Wright serves as an example of law enforcement strength and tenacity,” said Michael Ward, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark division.

“Even after 40 years, the commitment of law enforcement is unwavering and through the vast contributions of a multitude of people in New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Portugal, Wright was successfully taken into custody. This case should also serve notice that the FBI’s determination in pursuing subjects will not diminish over time or distance.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug252011

FBI Manhunt for Ex-Marine Ends Peacefully

Former Marine Charles A. Dyer was caught by the FBI and Texas police today after a 12 state manhunt. (Courtesy of Fort Bend Sheriffs Dept.)(PECAN GROVE, Texas) -- A former U.S. Marine who was on the lam from the FBI and believed to be armed and dangerous, has been captured without incident in Texas.

Charles Dyer, 31, of Duncan, Okla., was wanted for failing to appear in court on charges that he raped a 7-year-old girl. Police said he was known to have weapons and was part of a right wing anti-government group.

The FBI said a resident notified authorities Thursday morning about a suspicious person walking near a day care center in Pecan Grove, Texas, which led police to locate Dyer walking along the side of a road and order him to the ground. Police said he provided a false name at first before police found an ID on him and Dyer confirmed his identity to them.

Dyer was unarmed at the time of his arrest, but had $1,500 in cash and a GPS system with him. He told police he had been hiding in the brush near the side of a creek for the past five or six days and that police had come within 10 meters of him during their search, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK.

He will be extradited back to Oklahoma, where he will be tried in state court for the sexual assault charge and also in federal court for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, according to Clay Simmonds, spokesman for the FBI in Oklahoma. Simmonds said Dyer will likely remain in prison with no bail until he is tried for the crimes.

Authorities feared that a confrontation with Dyer could have been violent, as Dyer was an outspoken member of a right-wing group called Oath Keepers that called on members to "rise up" against "tyrannical government." He had uploaded a video of himself telling authorities that if they came to his home armed, he would have the right to defend himself.

The FBI launched a 12 state search for Dyer after he failied to show up to court in Stephens County, Okla., and authorities found his mobile home burned to the ground. Dyer was known to have multiple weapons, and had previously been indicted by the federal government for illegally possessing a grenade launcher.

Followers and friends of Dyer posted YouTube videos saying they would help their friend, known online as July4Patriot, defend himself against the FBI.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug242011

Wanted by the FBI: Former Marine, Considered Armed and Dangerous

FBI(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI has launched a multi-state manhunt for a former U.S. Marine -- on the run for allegedly sexually abusing a child -- that the bureau believes is “armed and dangerous.”

Authorities worry that Charles Alan Dyer, 31, of Duncan, Okla., well versed in military assault tactics and operations, may not come peacefully if confronted by police.

The FBI began pursuing Dyer earlier this month after he skipped town, failing to face the sex abuse charges in a trial that was set to begin on Aug. 15. An FBI bulletin says Dyer “is known to have numerous weapons” and an ABC News review of court records reveals that Dyer was also indicted on federal charges for possessing an unregistered Colt M-203 grenade launcher.

The FBI is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Dyer -- putting up digital billboards depicting Dyer’s image at locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and South Carolina. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for any information leading to his arrest.

Dyer is described as a white male, 5’10” to 6’0”, 175 to 200 pounds, brown shaved hair and blue eyes. There are indications Dyer may have grown a beard, lost some weight and that his head is no longer shaved.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug092011

Fugitive Dougherty Siblings Allegedly Have Deadly 'Arsenal'

FBI Atlanta Field Office(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The fugitive Dougherty siblings, on the lam for a week, have an arsenal of high-powered weapons, and a newly released video shows that the siblings know how to use them, police said.

Ryan Dougherty, 21, sister Lee Grace E. Dougherty, 29, and half-brother Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, have been on the run since Aug. 2 when they allegedly shot at a Florida police officer attempting to pull over their white Subaru Impreza for speeding. A few hours later, they allegedly robbed a bank in Georgia.

"We know that Ryan several years ago purchased an AK-47 at a pawn shop," Pasco County (Florida) Sheriff Chris Nocco said.  "We know his brother, Dylan, also purchased several high-caliber rifles and handguns...We were also informed by family members that they do have a large arsenal and when we searched the house, there were no weapons or any ammunition left so we know they took them with them."

Nocco said the siblings could be anywhere.

"We want to reiterate to the Dougherty family, we want you to turn yourselves in, we want a peaceful resolution, but at the same time we understand if they want to battle with us, we have the resources and we will win," Nocco said.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office on Monday released dash-cam video of the high-speed chase that launched the nationwide manhunt to find the siblings, now dubbed the Dougherty Gang.

The chase started the same day that Ryan Dougherty had allegedly cut off his court-ordered ankle monitoring device.  He'd been forced to register as a sex offender for sending explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl.

The video shows the Doughertys' white Subaru zooming by the Zephyrhills, Florida police car.  The police officer can be heard saying, "Speeds over 100 mph at this time."

The siblings allegedly take aim at the car.  The officer says, "Fired several shots at me."

Nocco said the Doughertys weren't just trying to disable the police car, they were trying to kill the officer.

Luckily, the officer was uninjured.  The chase came to an end when one of the 20 shots fired at the officer punctured his patrol car's tire.

A few hours later, the siblings allegedly robbed a bank in Valdosta, Georgia.  A masked woman who appears to be Lee Grace Dougherty is seen allegedly holding an Uzi submachine gun.

"She had her finger on the trigger.  We know they are trained in these weapons, they're not afraid to use them and they are extremely dangerous," Nocco said.

A week into the manhunt for the violent criminals, spottings have been reported throughout the southeast, including one in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  A digital billboard campaign is also being used by law enforcement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug082011

Fugitive Siblings Still on the Run; Mom Urges Them to Surrender

FBI Atlanta Field Office(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The mother of three fugitive siblings who allegedly engaged in a shootout with a Florida police officer during a high-speed chase, then robbed a bank in Georgia, is urging her children to turn themselves in.

Barbara Bell of Palatka, Florida told ABC News affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa that she's worried for their safety and with every passing moment feels that the chances of a peaceful ending are quickly fading.

"Only mom knows what good people you are inside" said Bell.  "Please prove me right and everybody wrong by doing the right thing now and turning yourselves in."

Officials say the trio appear to have communication with their mother, sending her a text saying: "There's a time for all of us to die."

Law enforcement experts said it seems unlikely the trio will follow their mother's wishes.

"It's going to be a violent ending unless you catch them by surprise," former FBI agent and ABC News contributor Brad Garrett said.

The hunt for the three siblings began Tuesday when an officer attempted to pull over the siblings for speeding along state road 54, in Zephryllis, just north of Tampa, police said.

Ryan Dougherty, 21, his sister Lee Grace E. Dougherty, 29, and half-brother Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, were allegedly driving as fast as 100 mph in a 2006 Subaru Impreza with New York State tags.

A high-speed chase ensued, during which the three allegedly sprayed the police car with at least 20 shots, finally escaping when a bullet hit a tire of the officer's car.

The officer was not injured but police said they found 20 "high caliber" shell casings along the route.

A few hours later that same day, about 200 miles North in Valdosta, Georgia, the Dougherty clan allegedly robbed a bank wearing masks and armed with AK-47s, firing shots at the ceiling.  They escaped with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.

All three of the siblings have troubled pasts, with 20 felonies among them.  Ryan Dougherty just registered as a sex offender last week, after being convicted of sending explicit texts to an 11-year-old girl.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb192011

Fugitive Army Private Captured in Florida

Photo Courtesy - Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) -- An Army private wanted in Los Angeles County, Calif., for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl was captured in Florida on Friday.

Authorities say 20-year-old Daniel Brazelton was taken into custody Friday night after officers found him hiding out in a motel room in Daytona Beach. Brazelton had been on the run since Feb. 11, when he escaped custody in Georgia, where he was being held pending extradition to Los Angeles County. Authorities say Brazelton was taken to Fort Stewart for medical treatment, and while being transported back to Liberty County jail, he managed to escape from the Army transport vehicle.

Brazelton, of Palmdale, Calif., faces charges of rape of a minor and for escaping custody. He has been taken to a Florida jail, where he will await extradition to Los Angeles County.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wednesday
Jan052011

Armed Fugitive in Custody after Standoff with Police at Phoenix Mall

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- An armed fugitive turned himself into police after a three-hour standoff Wednesday at a Phoenix-area mall that started with an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and U.S. Marshals.

A man believed to be Daniel Munoz Perez, 25, walked out of a Baja Fresh near Chandler Fashion Center with his shirt off and immediately was surrounded by SWAT members with their guns pointed at him. The man was handcuffed and taken into custody.

It's not known whether the suspect took hostages at the Mexican restaurant, but two employees reportedly walked out of the restaurant after he did. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Authorities put the Chandler Fashion Center on lockdown at around noon when undercover officers exchanged gunfire with a man believed to be Perez, a fugitive who has been on the lam since last month.

"U.S. Marshals task force members attempted to arrest Daniel Perez, who is wanted for aggravated assault for shooting at an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer last month," Jeff Carter from the United States Marshals Service said. "The store is being locked down and the mall evacuated."

Perez was arrested Dec. 10 for the shooting of the DPS officer, but mistakenly was released out of the Pinal County Jail on Dec. 16.

Armed police officers wearing helmets and bulletproof vests searched the mall and a nearby strip mall for Perez. Some of the officers were using dogs to search the mall.

U.S. Marshals confronted the suspect near the Sears store when gunfire was exchanged, sparking the standoff, ABC affiliate KNXV reported. The suspect then fled into the Sears store and eventually across Chandler Boulevard to the Baja Fresh.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio