Fugitive in Gilbert molestation caught - East Valley Tribune: News

Fugitive in Gilbert molestation caught

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Posted: Saturday, October 4, 2003 4:50 am | Updated: 2:27 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A fugitive suspected of molesting a Gilbert girl was captured Friday in Texas.

Holcomb Leland Gunn, 48, was arrested at a bus stop by San Antonio police who were informed of his possible whereabouts by Gilbert detectives, said Gilbert police Lt. Rick Turner.

Gunn was arrested Sept. 25 after being accused of fondling a 13-year-old girl under the pretense of a breast exam to check for cancer.

Gunn posted $16,200 bond on Sept. 26 and was placed on electronic monitoring to await a court appearance. However, he fled and has been sought since Tuesday. Police later criticized their handling of the case, saying more information about Gunn’s background should have been presented to the court so his bail might have been set higher. Court records indicate Gunn has been arrested three times in different states in sexually oriented crimes and is a registered sex offender in Utah.

The girl’s father said Gilbert detectives called him at 2 a.m. Friday to report the arrest.

"I thought it was great police work," said the father, who is not being identified to protect the child’s privacy. "I’m glad they finally got a hold of him so they can put him away where he belongs."

Turner said detectives were able to track Gunn through three states and in the early morning learned he might be on a bus in San Antonio. Officers emptied the bus. Gunn was traveling under an alias, had dyed his hair and donned colored contacts, but was recognized by police.

Detectives are working with Texas officials to arrange for Gunn’s extradition, Turner said.

Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, said that typically people who absconded while on electronic monitoring are charged with theft of the ankle monitoring device, an offense for which bail is not offered.

Ever since the family learned of Gunn’s release and subsequent escape, the family has been having problems sleeping, the girl’s father said. He stayed home the entire week for fear of their safety, too.

"When I told my daughter he’d been caught she just smiled," the father said. "It was a relief for her, I know. After we got the call at 2 a.m. I slept the best sleep I had all week."

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