FBI catches man 46 years after he escaped from Denver prison

Raghu_Ramaswamy/iStockBy MARK OSBORNE, ABC News

(DENVER) — The old saying is “you can run, but you can’t hide.” It worked for a long time for one prison escapee, but the FBI finally caught up to him in hiding on Wednesday.

After 46 years, Luis Archuleta was arrested in New Mexico, and will be returned to Denver, where he escaped from a prison cell in 1974.

Archuleta, also known as Larry Pusateri, escaped from a Colorado Department of Corrections facility over four decades ago and a federal arrest warrant was issued for him three years later.

But he remained on the lam until this week.

Archuleta, now 77 years old, was found in Española, New Mexico, where he had been living under the name Ramon Montoya.

Authorities said he had been residing in the area under the alias for about 40 years.

“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 said in a statement announcing Archuleta’s arrest. “I want to thank the Española Police Department for working closely with the FBI Denver and Albuquerque Divisions on this investigation and getting this dangerous fugitive off the streets.”

Archuleta was convicted of assault of a police officer with a deadly weapon for shooting a Denver officer in 1973. The officer survived the shooting.

Denver has changed a little in the four decades Archuleta was in hiding. The city’s population was about 1.1 million in 1973 compared to 2.8 million now.

A new federal arrest warrant was reissued June 30 for unlawful flight.

“The Denver Police Department is grateful to our law enforcement partners for their tireless commitment to bring this suspect to justice,” Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said in a statement. “Many members our community were hurt by Luis Archuleta’s actions. The passing of time does not erase or excuse his crimes.”

Pazen was 2 years old when Archuleta was convicted in the shooting.

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