A Colorado private investigator has tracked down the man who shot him nearly 50 years ago.
Daril Cinquanta was working as a Denver police officer in 1971 when he noticed a suspicious car on Mariposa Way. As he confronted the driver the man pulled a gun.
“So, I hit him in the temple,” Cinquanta told CBS4. “I knocked his glasses and hat off, and reached across his body for his gun, but I couldn’t restrain him, so he shot me.”
As Cinquanta crawled back to his car the man fled. Cinquanta later learned the man was one Luis Archuleta, also known as Lawrence Pusateri, who had just escaped from prison in California.
“The reason he was in Denver, he was an escapee from Soledad prison in California, and he had come here to hide.”
Archuleta was later arrested, sentenced for the shooting, and imprisoned in Colorado. However, he escaped three years later after faking an illness and being sent to a state hospital.
“It was an escape from a Hollywood script,” Cinquanta said. “Took a hostage, a getaway car, an accomplice with guns.”
Cinquanta has been chasing him ever since.
“I can’t even tell you how many people I talked to,” Cinquanta said. “I visited the homes of criminals, people who were involved in this case.”
Then on June 24, this year, Cinquanta says a source called him to tell him Archuleta was hiding in New Mexico.
“It sounded too good to be true, so I went to work and I verified and corroborated all of his information,” Cinquanta explained.
Archuleta, now 77 years old, was using an alias. But Cinquanta used his investigative skills to verify it was the shooter he’s been looking for.
He then contacted local police and the FBI, who sent in SWAT to capture him.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Cinquanta said. “I’ve been chasing the guy all of this time, and dead end after dead end after dead end.”
Archuleta is now back Colorado, serving time at the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center, and will be eligible for parole in 2024.
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