Friday, September 07, 2007

North By Northwest

Luck dealt Norman Hsu a bad card after he was arrested after checking into a hospital in Colorado, having been taken sick on the California Zephyr train.

Norman Hsu's quickly jumpstarted life on the lam came to a screeching stop less than 48 hours after it began when he got sick on the California Zephyr and was nabbed after being rushed to a Colorado hospital, according to the FBI.

The prolific Democratic fundraiser and fugitive was busted at 7 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time by FBI agents from the Denver office, according to Special Agent Joseph M. Schadler in the FBI's San Francisco office.

He was still in St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction - 250 miles west of Denver - Thursday evening, according to Pete Smarr, a nursing supervisor. Smarr declined to say what Hsu was suffering from - other than to report him in custody and in "fair" condition.

Hsu was traveling on Train #6, according to Cliff Cole, an Amtrak spokesman. Hsu boarded the train in Emeryville and was scheduled to get off the train in Denver, Cole said. Cole had no information as to who - if anyone - Hsu may have been traveling with.

The route of the Zephyr is shown below.

It's interesting to speculate on why he may have chosen to get off at Denver. Was it to change to another mode of transportation? Take a flight out of Denver International Airport? Interestingly, "The FBI credited help in the high profile bust to Grand Junction police, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service." The Diplomatic Security Service? Click here to see what the Diplomatic Security Service concerns itself with: among other things, passport and visa fraud. If you look at the detailed AMTRAK route map, the Grand Junction is the stop between Green River and Glenwood Springs. Hsu may have taken sick and the train staff may have had no alternative but to de-train him at Grand Junction. The train gets to Grand Junction just before noon daily. The Feds grabbed him at 19:00 local.


Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

It's almost like Mr Norman Hsu wanted to be found, without the almost.

9/07/2007 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

You mean like he went to the hospital for his health?

9/07/2007 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Serendipity everywhere. The guy who did Runaround Hsu was Dion of Dion and the Belmonts.

9/07/2007 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Don't forget Johhny Cash's classic, "A Boy Named Hsu", Maybe he was travelling around looking for his lost father...

My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
Just some campaign contributions and an empty bottle of booze.

Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me "Hsu."

Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It seems I had to bribe my whole life through.
Some pol would giggle and I'd give 'em cash,
And some cops would bust me and take my stash,
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Hsu."

Well, I grew up quick and I gave Dems loot,
I bought Bill Clinton some Cuban cheroots,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and sun
That I'd help Hillary on her presidential run
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.

9/07/2007 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

I already hear the mandolins in the moonlight. :)

9/07/2007 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Hsu is obviously suffering the effects of having been sprayed by that crop duster that caught him while he waited for his contact in the middle of nowhere.

Either that, or he was fond of licking the paint off Batman action figures and Barbie dolls....

9/07/2007 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Maybe Mr Hsu was on his way to the airport, in Mena Arkansas.

9/07/2007 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger cathyf said...

From Wednesday's news reports: California Attorney General spokesman Gareth Lacy said Hsu's lawyers told prosecutors Hsu arrived by charter jet at the Oakland airport about 5:30 a.m. PDT Wednesday and then wasn't heard from again.

The train left Emeryville at 7:10 am. It's about a half-hour drive according to rand-macnally, but I'm thinking that has to assume impossibly optimistic traffic for crossing the Bay Area during the beginning of a Wed am rush hour. This was tightly planned -- he had an hour and forty minutes to get out of the airport and completely across town and on the train -- I'm guessing it was a pretty tight connection.

9/07/2007 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 09/07/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

9/07/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

The best way to avoid the Feds??
Travel on the Feds' train, of course.
Oftentimes late, nobody in their right mind would use it to keep to a schedule.

cathyf -- Assuming it was on time. Seems like it hardly ever is when coming into Junction.

What a surprise to read in our paper this morning. At least my fair city gets on the news for something other than a tragedy.

9/07/2007 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Andrewdb said...

Emeryville and Oakland are on the same side of the San Francisco Bay and only a few miles apart. It would be an easy connection even at rush hour.

I am most interested in his ability to charter a plane on his way to the courthouse.

Even more interesting is why one of our California judges would grant bail to someone picked up for jumping bail.

9/07/2007 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

The BART system is physically astride the Emeryville station; the only place where the two systems so meet.

The BART system runs from San Francisco International Airport all the way to Emeryville.

So the trip was a no-brainer and the travel time entirely ordinary requiring absolutely no planning or luck.

9/07/2007 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

Further, it is possible to board the train and pay for your ticket on the spot --- in cash.

A BART vended ticket is anonymous, of course.

9/07/2007 10:08:00 PM  

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