Police: confession made in chase case
ASPEN Aspen police said they have a confession from the man suspected of leading local law-enforcement officials on a five-hour chase Monday. Detective Chris Womack of the Aspen Police Department said Phillip Jordon Vigil, 27, admitted Wednesday to stealing a motorcycle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a blue Toyota truck. Vigil also told Womack he had been using methamphetamine and partying throughout the weekend, the detective said. Tests Aspen Valley Hospital turned over to police confirmed the substance to be methamphetamine. Meanwhile, Vigil appeared in Pitkin County District Court on Wednesday to face six charges prosecutor Gail Nichols filed. He put his head on his hands twice as District Judge James Boyd read the five felony charges and one misdemeanor.Vigil was charged with first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding, driving under revocation, aggravated driving under revocation, and possession of a handgun by a previous offender. He faces two to six years in prison for the most serious charge and a required consecutive prison sentence of one year to 18 months for the handgun charge. Nichols said she might charge Vigil with more crimes at a future date. Nichols requested a $32,500 bond, and Boyd set bond at $45,000, noting Vigil’s criminal history and the fact that he was wanted in Denver for skipping out on probation from two felonies. Womack said Vigil told him he really just wanted to get out of town and became confused and lost during the chase. Vigil visited Aspen for the weekend to party with a woman, and at some point early Monday morning they got in a fight, Womack said. “[Vigil said] he just wanted to go home to Denver,” said Womack. “He didn’t have a car, so he decided to do what he knows best. Looking at his past history, he’s stolen more than a few cars.”After Vigil was spotted in the first vehicle going down Brush Creek Road, valley law enforcement chased him for the next five hours. Apparently Vigil didn’t know his way around the Snowmass area. “He was asking people on the [Snowmass Village] mall, ‘How do I get back to Denver?'” Womack said. “He bolted on the motorcycle and made a right turn back into Aspen.”Aspen police reports show that police attempted to block roads many times through the chase and watched Vigil speed by at nearly three times the speed limit.When Vigil was arrested, documents state, Snowmass Village police officer Todd Haller found a Smith & Wesson .45-caliber handgun on Vigil and two knives in his left front pocket. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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: The Colorado Department of Transportation gives Aspen’s roundabout a poor grade in terms of level of service so it’s thinking about making changes. But first, a study or two must be done.