Dangerous sex offender who escaped from Larned caught in Utah thanks to wanted poster

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A man who escaped from Larned State Hospital has been captured in Utah after someone recognized him from a wanted poster. Law enforcement officials say John Freeman Colt, 42, is a dangerous, convicted sex offender.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in Utah says a citizen saw Colt’s wanted poster on the news Monday evening. The viewer told authorities that a man resembling Colt had been using the name Jason Holt and had been camping in the Torrey, Utah area since early August. The viewer told the sheriff how to get to the campsite.

The sheriff began arranging a search team that included another sheriff’s office and aerial surveillance. But as the group was staging a few miles from the campsite, they saw Colt ride by on a blue motorcycle.

Authorities began chased him for a couple of miles at speeds up to 100 mph. A deputy managed to get in front of the bike with his police vehicle, and the chase was over.

The sheriff says they took him into custody, and Colt confirmed he was John Freeman Colt of Kansas.

Colt escaped on June 30 from Larned State Hospital. He 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. In addition, he was required to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life.

After his criminal sentence was completed, the Kansas courts deemed him a sexually violent predator at high risk of committing a future sex offense and too dangerous to be released.

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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. Then, he put blankets under his bed covers, making it appear he was still in bed sleeping.

He then convinced a new staff worker (that he targeted) that he was 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.

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