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Schuyler police capture fugitive

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The Schuyler Police Department is crediting the quick action of dispatchers and collaboration between local law enforcement in the capture of an out-of-state fugitive.

Police Chief Robert Farber said on Nov. 14, an officer was dispatched at around 7 p.m. to Lost Creek Apartments, in the 900 block of East 16th Street in Schuyler, on a report of suspicious activity from someone in the area.

Police made contact with an individual near the playground who had been drinking alcohol, Farber said. The officer checked that individual – 27-year-old Luis Miguel Ortega-Rojas – for warrants and discovered he was wanted out of New Mexico and Colorado.

Farber said Ortega-Rojas had a failure to appear warrant for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and third degree felony out of Taos, New Mexico, and misdemeanor warrants out of New Mexico. Also, Farber said, Ortega-Rojas had warrants out of Arapahoe County, Colorado, for arson and attempted murder.

Ortega-Rojas attempted to flee the scene, Farber noted. The officer called that information in to dispatch and a nearby Colfax County deputy who, along with help from some of Ortega-Rojas’ family members, assisted with locating the man.

Ortega-Rojas was taken into custody without incident. Police learned that authorities from the other law enforcement agencies wanted to extradite him, so Ortega-Rojas was transported to the Butler County Jail.

“Colfax County dispatch did an excellent job of getting the information to the officer in a quick fashion, and then got the officer help,” Farber said. “Once the subject took off running, (the officer) was there by himself and having that deputy that could to get there quickly was beneficial.”

Farber added that Ortega-Rojas was in Schuyler visiting relatives.

“We were just really grateful that that all came together in a quick and efficient manner (and) that the party was taken into custody safely,” he said.

Colfax County Sheriff Shawn Messerlie noted the collaboration between his office and the police department.

“Our guys always back up and work well with Schuyler PD,” Messerlie said. “It’s great that we can all work together and get the job done.”

Hannah Schrodt is the news editor of the Schuyler Sun. Reach her via email at hannah.schrodt@lee.net.

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