Wichita, KS – John Freeman Colt, 42, a dangerous sex
offender who escaped June 30 from a state mental hospital in Kansas was
arrested in Wayne County, Utah, Monday night.
U.S. Marshals investigators say viewers in Wayne County saw Colt’s
wanted poster on the news Monday evening and recognized Colt, calling in
tips to the U.S. Marshals Service and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
As sheriff’s deputies were staging in a parking lot near the target
house, they saw Colt roll by on his blue motorcycle and gave chase. Colt
eventually decided to give up. He confirmed his identity, and the
sheriff confirmed the motorcycle VIN in NCIC.
He is being held in the Sevier County jail pending his return to Kansas.
“Effective law enforcement in the United States today is enhanced by
citizens willing to report what they see,” said U.S. marshal for the
District of Kansas Ronald Miller. “That occurred in this case and
resulted in a violent predator being recaptured.”
Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King said, “I would like to thank the U.S.
Marshals Service, along with everyone involved in the hunt for Colt, and
especially the Wayne County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office for their
apprehension of the dangerous fugitive.”
The U.S. Marshals
elevated Colt’s escape to major case status Sept. 20 and had offered up
to $10,000 as reward for information leading to Colt’s arrest. The USMS
will continue to collect information and work with Utah USMS to start a
failure to register case on him. As the lead federal agency for sex
offender violations following passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection
and Safety Act of 2006, the USMS has the primary responsibility of
assisting state, local, tribal, and territorial authorities in the
location and apprehension of noncompliant and fugitive sex offenders, as
well as investigating violations of the act for federal prosecution.
Colt was sentenced on Dec. 14, 2001, to five years in state prison for
aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape, aggravated burglary, and four
counts of aggravated battery against law enforcement. He was required to
register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life.
After his criminal sentence was completed, the State of Kansas courts
deemed him a Sexually Violent Predator at high risk to commit a future
sex offense and too dangerous to be released. He was indefinitely
civilly committed and sent to the Larned State Hospital’s Sexual
Predator Treatment Program in 2007, where he has resided until the
Investigators believe Colt planned his escape several months in advance,
obtaining a replica of a staff ID badge and dress clothes. The morning
of his escape he shaved off his long hair and beard. He put blankets
under his bed covers making it appear he was still in bed sleeping. He
was then able to convince a new staff worker (that he targeted) that he
was in fact a new doctor and needed help finding his way out. Posing as
a doctor, Colt was able to make his way past five secured doors and
ultimately outside the gates.
Several hours passed before staff noticed he was missing and alerted the
Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office. After escaping, Colt received a ride
from a local farmer to the town of Larned. From there he rode to Scott
City on a motorcycle he’d purchased prior to his escape with the help of
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found
First Federal Law Enforcement Agency