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Fugitive nabbed after dining in same restaurant as marshal

By Kevin Murphy

Kansas City, Missouri (Reuters) - Former fugitive Virgil Tillman will have plenty of time to contemplate his unfortunate choice of restaurants as he sits in jail.

Wanted on weapons and drugs charges by three counties in two states, Tillman was spotted at a pricey restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, by a fellow diner - an off-duty deputy U.S. marshal who had been pursuing him for two months, said acting chief deputy U.S. marshal for Kansas, Matt Cahill, on Thursday.

The marshal, who just happened to pick the same place to have dinner on Sunday night, recognized Tillman from photos, Cahill said. He also recognized Tillman's dining companion, a woman he had interviewed about the fugitive who denied knowing his whereabouts, Cahill said.

The marshal slipped out of the restaurant and called Kansas City police, who waited for Tillman to finish eating to avoid a confrontation inside the restaurant, Cahill said.

As Tillman started to leave, he saw police and tried to pull the restaurant's outer doors shut, but was captured without further resistance, Cahill said.

It is unusual to stumble upon a fugitive, but it rewards hard work, Cahill said.

"You are lucky in a way, yes, but it wasn't from not putting in the effort out there," he said.

Tillman's arrest was first reported by the Kansas City Star.

(Reporting By Kevin Murphy; editing by Gunna Dickson)