A Grand Junction man is caught after eluding law enforcement officials in the dessert nearly all day Wednesday. And the 16–year–old girl he was with is now safe at home. Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies arrested 32–year–old Michael Ritchie near the Tilman Bishop Campus Wednesday night. According to an arrest affidavit Ritchie and the girl were hiding near a bush with a loaded gun. Ritchie told deputies he would shoot himself in the head if they came near him. But after some persuading he put the gun down and gave himself up. Susan Redman with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office says when deputies searched Ritchie they also found an illegal switch-blade knife. Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies and the Grand Junction Police Department have been looking for Ritchie since he fled a traffic stop and sped away into the desert yesterday. This Thursday afternoon Ritchie was advised of his rights. He faces numerous charges including concealing a weapon on school grounds, harboring a runaway, and possession of an illegal weapon.
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