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Manhunt in Jericho for famous BMX rider - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Manhunt in Jericho for famous BMX rider

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JERICHO, Vt. -

It all started with a simple motor vehicle stop in Jericho Center. A tail light was out on a Toyota. But it turned more serious when a sheriff's deputy approached the vehicle. He recognized the driver as Craig Grasso, who gave a phony name, and then took off running.

"He ordered the suspect to stop a couple times and the suspect took off on foot, so he deployed his Taser," said Lt. Robert Stebbins of the Chittenden County Sheriff's Department.

But it didn't work. Grasso was wearing a thick, black parka. He got away.

His appearance has changed a bit since the photos police released. He now has a full beard.

"Because of the heavy clothing the darts didn't make it to the skin to make contact, so the Taser was not effective and that's not all that uncommon," Stebbins explained.

Grasso ran into the woods and disappeared. Vermont State police brought in a K-9 unit to help the sheriff's department track the suspect. But they lost Grasso's scent.

"It's not uncommon even for a good K-9 handler to lose a scent trail. There's just so many variables in that," Stebbins said.

Grasso is no stranger to cameras. He's seen in a 1989 BMX video where he's referred to as a world class rider.

And this isn't Grasso's first time being on the wrong side of the law. He has a lengthy rap sheet. He's been charged with domestic assault and stalking, and convicted of DUI and lying to police. He'll face that charge again when he's caught, plus driving with a suspended license, eluding police and resisting arrest.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Should the public be concerned at this point for their safety?

Lt. Robert Stebbins: Not any more than usual. This is one of those situations where the suspect did not show a knife or weapon and did not attack the officer.

The last place Grasso was seen was on Barber Farm Road in Jericho Center. Police are encouraging people to lock their doors while they continue to search.

If you have any information about Grasso's whereabouts, call the Chittenden County Sheriff's Department at 802-863-4341. A reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest.

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