Five-hour chase ends near golf club |

Five-hour chase ends near golf club

Joel Stonington
Vail, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet/The Aspen TimesThe injured driver of a alleged high speed chase, that ended with a car crash on the bike path near the Aspen Golf Club, was carried out by paramedics and taken to the hospital on Monday morning.

ASPEN ” Snowmass Village police arrested a convicted felon Monday after he allegedly stole four vehicles and used them to take area law-enforcement officials on a wild, five-hour chase through the Aspen area.

Phillip Jordon Vigil’s alleged crime spree came to a crashing halt at the Aspen Golf Club, when what police allege was the fourth and final vehicle he stole hit the Aspen roundabout, skidded off Highway 82 and reversed down the bike path before landing in a ditch.

Vigil, 27, of Denver, faces four charges of felony eluding, four counts of aggravated motor vehicle theft, leaving the scene of an accident, driving while license revoked for an alcohol-related offense and felon in possession of a firearm, authorities said.

The hunt for Vigil began early Monday morning, when Snowmass Village resident Shawn Taylor awoke to the sound of his ’97 Dodge Ram starting up in his driveway. Taylor said he hit the snooze button and that no more than five seconds later, he heard the truck drive off.

“I ran to the back door to see which way they went,” Taylor said. “I just saw the taillights on my truck hauling ass down Brush Creek.”

An Aspen officer tried to pull the truck over, but the vehicle would not stop. Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis confirmed one of his deputies fired a shot into the tire of the truck.

After the vehicle did not stop, local law-enforcement officers stopped pursuit. “This guy was going very fast, he was going in the wrong lane and doing all sorts of dangerous things,” Aspen police spokesman Bill Linn said. “He was still very committed to getting away at all costs, with no concern for anyone else’s safety or his own.”

The Dodge Ram was then found crashed into a tree in Aspen’s West End.

Police said Vigil then stole an unlocked bicycle and took it to Roaring Fork Road, near Cemetery Lane, where a custom-made Buell racing motorcycle was parked. Linn said the motorcycle was hot-wired.

Concerned that Vigil was on the loose in the West End, a reverse-911 call was made to neighboring homes and businesses warning people that a possibly dangerous man was in the area, police said.

More than 2 1/2 hours after the Dodge Ram was found, Snowmass Village police said they saw a motorcycle with a man fitting Vigil’s description driving down Brush Creek Road. They attempted to stop the motorcycle, but it continued on in excess of 80 mph, they said.

Aspen police later found the motorcycle on East Cooper Avenue, where they believe Vigil ditched it before stealing a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was found undamaged, they said.

A witness then told police he saw a man fitting Vigil’s description leave the area in a blue Toyota pickup, authorities said.

The pickup sped down Main Street, followed by police, and then crashed into the roundabout and on to an adjacent bike path, police said.

The truck went backwards down the bike path before crashing into a ditch, police said.

Vigil was arrested at 10:30 a.m. After a short stay at Aspen Valley Hospital, he was transported to the Pitkin County Jail and held on $67,000 bail.

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