Chase suspect has lengthy rap sheet
ASPEN The man suspected of leading valley law enforcement on a five-hour chase Monday was likely using methamphetamine, according to police. Phillip Jordon Vigil, 27, of Denver, was not able to appear to appear before a judge Tuesday because, as Aspen police spokesman Bill Linn put it, “There is a requirement for sobriety in court.” The district attorney’s office has not filed charges. Linn said Vigil had admitted to being on meth at the time of his arrest Monday. Vigil was wanted on warrants for missing probation on some of his numerous criminal convictions. In Colorado, Vigil has three felonies convictions and nearly a dozen misdemeanors in the last 10 years.
He now faces four charges of felony eluding, four counts of aggravated motor vehicle theft, felon in possession of a firearm and driving while license revoked.Details have started to emerge, including why Vigil allegedly stole four vehicles and why he might have been in the area. Linn said Vigil might have been visiting a woman in Snowmass Village, when there was a dispute of some kind, prompting Vigil to leave early Monday morning. Officers have not been able to contact the woman yet.It was 5:30 a.m. when Shawn Taylor of Snowmass Village heard his Dodge Ram being taken from his driveway, starting a five-hour chase with Snowmass Village, Aspen and Pitkin County law enforcement.That first truck crashed because a Pitkin County deputy shot out the right front tire, confirmed Pitkin County undersheriff Joe DiSalvo. The deputy who fired the shot is on administrative leave, required whenever a deputy fires a weapon (with the exception of putting down animals).
“It’s very, very, very rare,” DiSalvo said of the frequency with which deputies fire a weapon. “In my experience here in over 20 years, it’s probably less than five.”The Dodge Ram hit a tree in Aspen’s West End, and DiSalvo said the vehicle had been driving on a bare rim with the tire shredded. He said it was likely the deputy firing into the tire caused the crash. An hour after the crash, Vigil allegedly hot-wired a custom-made Buell motorcycle. Linn said the wires came apart while Vigil was in the city, stopping the motorcycle, and that was a likely reason for ditching the bike in downtown Aspen.
The third vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was driven only a few blocks, and Linn said law enforcement has concluded that the driver left the SUV behind because of a nearly empty gas tank. The final vehicle Vigil allegedly stole, a blue Toyota truck, crashed into the circle at the Aspen roundabout and ended up in a ditch near the Aspen Golf Club.Linn said Vigil has five pages of history with various police departments throughout Colorado.”In police parlance, he’s a bad guy,” Linn said. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is email@example.com