Facebook fugitive caught in Port Angeles,WA
PORT ANGELES, Wash. — The fugitive who made headlines for updating his Facebook while on the run has been caught.
Investigators arrested Travis A. Nicolaysen at a home in the 500 block of E. 12th after receiving a tip. He was taken into custody without incident.
“He basically came up from the basement and surrendered,” Port Angeles Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith told the Peninsula Daily News.
The 26-year-old had eluded authorities since two foot chases earlier this month and a dragnet that included a police dog tracking him through a Port Angeles neighborhood.
The dog came up only with a blue bandanna he had been wearing.
His first day on the run, one friend posted to his account: “Cops all over you.” Nicolaysen responded the next day with: “ya got away thanks bro.”
A post from another friend told him to be careful. Another urged him to surrender and set a better example for his children. “You’re not getting any younger and you’re looking at a lot of time,” the friend wrote. A picture on the Facebook page shows Nicolaysen with two toddlers.
Nicolaysen has been convicted of five felonies, including domestic violence, burglary and theft of a firearm, police said. He is wanted by the Washington state Department of Corrections for failing to check in with his community corrections officer since January.
He’s also accused of assaulting his girlfriend on March 28, police said.
Better make that his ex-girlfriend. In a recent post, Nicolaysen changed his relationship status to single, the Peninsula Daily News reported.
Police are among those checking the page. “Absolutely,” Smith told The Associated Press on Monday.
“We’re used to pinging databases and sources of information,” he said. “It’s normal for us to look at Facebook accounts.”
A lot of people communicate openly and can remain beyond the long arm of the law, at least for a while, Smith said.
Facebook tells its users that it may share certain information if it gets requests from law enforcement, and that it does have some ability to track people via IP addresses and GPS location.
Investigators couldn’t reach through Facebook to put a finger on the fugitive, but the publicity alone proved enough to flush him out in a city the size of Port Angeles, population 19,000, on the Olympic Peninsula about 65 miles northwest of Seattle.
“In a smaller community, it’s harder to disappear and be anonymous,” Smith said.
Nicolaysen is expected in court on Tuesday. KOMO News