2-Time Escapee Is Caught After 46 Years

Fugitive Luis Archuleta nabbed in New Mexico
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2020 1:29 PM CDT
He Escaped Prison, Shot a Cop, Escaped Again. Now, Justice
   (Getty Images/Yingko)

Luis Archuleta escaped from prison before shooting and injuring a rookie Denver police officer on Oct. 3, 1971. He was convicted of assault of a police officer with a deadly weapon in 1973, but escaped from prison again the following year, per the Santa Fe New Mexican. It was the start of a 46-year life on the run, which finally came to an end Wednesday with his arrest in Española, New Mexico, where he'd been living under the name Ramon Montoya, per ABC News. It was largely thanks to the officer Archuleta shot. Over the years, Daril Cinquanta had reached out to family, friends, and acquaintances of the fugitive in the hope of locating him. On June 24, "I get a call from a person I had talked to previously," he tells the New Mexican. Less than a week later, a new federal arrest warrant for Archuleta was issued.

Cinquanta had uncovered the 2011 arrest of a man named Roman Montoya on a drunk driving charge in Rio Arriba County. The case was later dismissed, but Montoya's mugshot, importantly, remained. Cinquanta forwarded it to Española police and the FBI, who began a monthlong investigation. It ended Wednesday with Archuleta's arrest at the home he shared with his wife. "This arrest should send a clear signal to violent offenders everywhere: The FBI will find you, no matter how long it takes or how far you run, and we will bring you to justice," FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider says in a statement. The 77-year-old Archuleta—also known as Lawrence "Larry" Pusateri—will now be returned to Colorado, from which he long ago escaped a Department of Corrections facility. (Read more fugitive stories.)

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