Fugitive found hiding in tree; manhunt over

by: Gary Horcher Updated:

MILL CREEK, Wash. - An intense, six-hour Snohomish County manhunt for a wanted fugitive ended late Friday night with the capture of the suspect, 40-feet up in a tree.

 Vincent Nutter, 22, had been on the run from police near Clearview, since 2:30 p.m. when U.S. Marshals tried to arrest him on weapons and drug violations. Police said Nutter vowed to shoot any deputy who got in his way.

“He made threats that he’d kill anyone who would send him back to prison,” said Snohomish County Sheriff’s spokesperson Shari Ireton.

 Police said Nutter was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he led them on a chase, abandoned his car, and disappeared in a vast expanse of woods, with neighborhoods and schools dotting the rolling landscape. Special helicopters were brought in, equipped with heat-tracking cameras. Dogs found Nutter’s scent, then lost it in the thick bramble.

 After police locked-down schools and closed roads for a square mile, neighbors began spotting Nutter, and calling 911.

“Oh my God, he’s here—that’s him,” said Tasia Hickey, who saw Nutter climbing her fence. “We yelled—‘you’re the (expletive) they’re searching for!”

 Federal agents with the ATF, U.S. Marshals, and Snohomish County deputies tracked Nutter to a tree, where he’d climbed 40 feet.

“He told us we’d have to shoot him,” said one deputy. “We decided to bring in a fire truck and blast him with water from a safe distance.”

 After the second stream of water hit Nutter in the tree, he seemed to fear falling, and he climbed down, and surrendered.