Search for escaped sex offender focused in Denver

This photo released by the U.S. Marshals Service District of Colorado shows Eric E. Hartwell. State and federal authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding Hartwell, a convicted child rapist who escaped from a Denver halfway house on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. The search for Hartwell was focused on the Denver area on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/U.S. Marshals Service District of Colorado)

DENVER — State and federal agents were searching the Denver area Monday for a convicted child rapist with a history of fleeing and refusing to register with authorities.

Eric E. Hartwell escaped Friday from a halfway house in Denver and cut his ankle-monitor bracelet.

The 51-year-old was serving a three-year sentence for refusing to register in Colorado. He served time for failing to register in Washington and cut off his ankle bracelet a week after being paroled there in 2009. He was captured in Carrollton, Texas, and sentenced to five years in federal prison in 2010 for failing to register. But he was arrested in Clear Creek County, in the mountains west of Denver, the following year.

It wasn’t immediately clear how Hartwell escaped from authorities in Texas and ended up in Colorado.

At the time of Hartwell’s capture in Texas in 2009, the Seattle Times reported that Hartwell had been convicted in 1991 of raping his neighbor’s 6-year-old daughter. The newspaper reported that his 6 ½-year sentence was suspended on the condition that he complete a sex-offender treatment program.

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a substantial reward for help in finding the convicted child rapist with a history of fleeing and refusing to register with authorities, but they haven’t released an exact amount. Spokesman Charlie Ahmad said Hartwell is considered to be violent and has resisted capture before.

In Texas, authorities said Hartwell lunged at one of the deputies putting handcuffs on him and later allegedly threatened to assault a task force officer on his way to being booked.

Anyone with information about Hartwell is urged to call 1-877-WANTED2.


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