Hunt: Thanks Sheriff, for Calling Off the Dogs | Hunt(ing) in Colorado
by Jeff Hunt
Jun 20, 2007 | 615 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I reckon it’s been two months since I was a wanted man. Not wanted as in needed, but as in a fugitive from justice.

It all came back to me when I ran into Ouray County Sheriff Dominic “Junior” Mattivi at a car accident scene one Friday afternoon. I greeted him with my usual, “Howdy, Junior, how are ya’?” He replied with a typical, “Not too bad.” Then he went on to exclaim, “I bet you’re doing much better now that you’re not wanted anymore!”

Here’s the story: apparently there’s another person with the same name as me – at least common first and last, but not middle – that had been wanted by the Colorado State Patrol, or maybe it was Junior’s bunch – I can’t remember which.

It started back in late April when I got an email from Shelly at the Sheriff’s Office containing questions along the lines of: “Were you born in…? Is your middle name…? If so, give us a call at the Sheriff’s Office.”

Now, I don’t know how many people in the world I have a common name with, but to have at least two in Ridgway? Wow, now that’s a coincidence.

I didn’t respond right away to the email. For one, I knew it wasn’t me. And two, my journalistic instincts prevailed. I wanted to know more and see how much fun I could have – hey, that’s just me!

Well, I didn’t have time for more on that particular day – it was a Friday, or pre-production day for the paper, and I was just too darn busy.

So I went on about my business, blowing off the fact that I could be a wanted man, until the following day when I went to chat with Ridgway Marshal D.J. “Scotty” Scott about an accident that had occurred.

After some small talk, I asked Scotty why the sheriff would be thinking I was a wanted person. With a devilish grin, he said, “Aww, don’t worry about it. We got our man yesterday [Friday afternoon]. I knew it wasn’t you!”

Apparently, the real “wanted” Jeff Hunt had been caught.

So now back to chatting with Junior a mere 10 days ago. Shelly had raised the question of whether the editor Jeff Hunt could be the alleged felon Jeff Hunt. Junior said in his conversation with Shelly, “Man, he seems awful nice, I hope that’s not him,” with a chuckle.

For the record, editor Jeff Hunt was indeed wanted – for a short time – but not gotten, and alleged felon Jeff Hunt was indeed wanted and gotten, if that makes sense.

So thank you Junior for calling off the dogs and thank you Shelly for not having them bust down the doors to our Ridgway office and taking me out in cuffs.

That really would’ve looked good in the paper.

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