Port Angeles man posts to Facebook while on lam

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

By Arwyn Rice

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man who escaped from police last week as they sought to detain him on a parole violation charge hasn't been avoiding his Facebook friends.

Although on the lam from police, Travis A. Nicolaysen made sure to update his Facebook account — including the announcement that he is no longer in a relationship with his girlfriend.

The posts, which began the day after he eluded a manhunt last Wednesday, include a “status change” from “in a relationship” to “single,” along with responses to people who offered to help him, sent him their personal contact information, warned him that police are after him and pleaded that he turn himself in.

Posts piled up even the day of the chase.

“Cops all over you,” one friend posted on his account Wednesday.

Nicolaysen, 26, responded a few hours later with, “got away thanks bro.”

Nicolaysen escaped officers during two separate foot chases during the dragnet that included a police dog tracking him through a residential neighborhood near Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles.

Port Angeles police officers and Clallam County sheriff's deputies tracked him from Caroline Street to the Waterfront Trail, where he was last seen. Officials guessed he got away in a vehicle that was either parked there or had stopped to give him a ride.

Nicolaysen is wanted by the state Department of Corrections for a parole violation, having failed to check in with his parole officer since January.

Police also have probable cause to arrest Nicolaysen for felony assault for allegedly injuring a girlfriend in a March 28 incident.

Nicolaysen and his friends have been posting on his Facebook account since last week's chase.

At 7:25 a.m. Saturday, he posted a status update that read, “Travis Nicolaysen went from being ‘in a relationship' to ‘single,'” followed by a discussion between Nicolaysen and several females asking him to contact them, and warning him to “watch out.”

At least two urged him to turn himself in.

“Your not getting any younger and your looking at alot of time. I love ya man but set an example for your kids. Don't wait till they're teens and pulling the same shit like I did,” one woman posted.

A picture on his Facebook page shows Nicolaysen with two toddlers.

Nicolaysen's brazen use of the social networking site even as police continue to hunt him down is somewhat unusual, but not unheard of, said Port Angeles Police Cpl. Tom Kuch.

“It's more frustrating than anything,” Kuch said. “He and others like him seem to think that being on the lam is glamorous.”

Kuch said he blames movies, which glorify the lives of criminals on the run from the law.

Unlike in the movies or on television shows like “CSI,” Port Angeles police do not have a “supergeek” computer guy or the technology to track criminals through Facebook, he said.

Tracing IP addresses, Internet experts say, generally narrows the location only to a city and a service provider, such as Wave Broadband, CenturyLink or AT&T.

Service providers don't keep a record of IP address activity, so even if police had an IP address and subpoenaed the records, the name and address of the source wouldn't be available, according to a Wave Broadband representative.

According to Facebook's data-use policy, the social media site has some limited ability to trace users.

The policy states, in part, “We may share your information in response to a legal request (like a search warrant, court order or subpoena) if we have a good faith belief that the law requires us to do so.”

Nicolaysen continues to be a high-priority target, Kuch said.

According to the state Department of Corrections, he stands 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

Last seen, he had long, wavy brown hair worn in a braid or ponytail. He tends to wear a mustache with a short, full beard or goatee, police said.

He also has a small teardrop tattoo under the outer corner of his left eye and tattoos on the left side of his neck, both forearms and both calves.

Nicolaysen has been convicted of five felonies, including domestic violence, residential burglary, theft of a firearm and court-order violations.

Anyone with information about Nicolaysen's whereabouts is asked to phone the Port Angeles Police Department at 360-452-4545.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 08. 2012 6:36PM
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