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Search For Escaped Sex Offender Focused In Denver

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DENVER (AP/CBS4) – 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 Eugene 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.

“He does have a history of doing this. We know this based on what’s going on in his past,” Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Ken Deal said. “The good thing is we have national attention on this case. We’re hoping the public will assist.”

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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