By MARGIE WUEBKER
An anonymous tip from a citizen led to the arrest of a fugitive
featured on the television show “America’s Most
Wanted” early Sunday morning at a local bar.
Alan Bargo, 48, had been on the run for 15 years after escaping
from an Arkansas jail in the wake of a conviction for burglary
and attempted murder of a police officer.
He reportedly offered no resistance when approached by three
police officers at the Club Cafe, 107 S. Main St., shortly after
midnight. He was seated at the bar with two companions —
one reportedly from the Celina area and the other a Springfield
“We looked at the information on the television show’s
Web site before heading out,” Celina Police Sgt. Tom Wale
told The Daily Standard this morning. “We recognized him
Although Bargo offered no resistance, he reportedly argued he
was not the man featured on the television show and produced
a fake Ohio operator’s license bearing another name.
“He gave inconsistent information during questioning and
we took him into custody,” Celina Police Chief Dave Slusser
said. “Other identifying marks like tattoos made us believe
we had the right guy.”
A tattoo of a buzzard on one arm, the grim reaper on another
and three-inch bluebirds on his chest were easily identifiable.
Officers discovered upon booking their prisoner into the Mercer
County Jail that his entire body is covered with colorful designs.
Communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation produced
a copy of Bargo’s fingerprints. Verification that Bargo
and the local bar patron were one and the same came within an
During processing and booking, officers determined the one at
the bar who claimed to be from Springfield also had supplied
false information. They returned to the bar to discover he had
fled the area.
Later Sunday morning, police officers, Mercer County Sheriff’s
deputies and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers converged on
Cole’s Motel, 565 E. Market St., where the men reportedly
had been staying.
Six to seven people were evacuated from the premises and large
spotlights illuminated the area. When no one responded to orders
to come out, the officers made a “dynamic entry,”
according to Slusser. No weapons were found inside the empty
Slusser believes Bargo came to Celina on Saturday to meet a
local resident he apparently has known for sometime. No description
is available on the vehicle they drove because they reportedly
drove around town in the local man’s car.
Bargo has a long history of escapes, including four from Arkansas
jails. The latest came on May 10, 1988, while he was serving
140 years for the attempted murder of a Bentonville police officer
and a rash of thefts.
He managed to elude police in numerous states as well as the
FBI and U.S. marshals. His story has appeared at least four
times on the television shows “America’s Most Wanted
and Unsolved Mysteries.” His face also graces a set of
cards featuring criminals sought by the FBI.
Kentucky State Police want to question Bargo, who has at least
10 aliases, regarding the death of a state trooper, according
He also noted that Bargo had been arrested Sept. 3 for a drug
violation in Sanford, N.C. He produced an operator’s license
bearing the name Michael Bruce Walters. Officers released him
the next day before fingerprints confirmed his real identity.
Police have informed corrections officers about Bargo’s
penchant for escape.
Slusser said the investigation is continuing and additional
charges are likely.