DENVER - A convicted sex offender arrested for failing to register with police somehow slipped out of handcuffs at the Denver Police Department and walked out without officers noticing on Wednesday afternoon, a police spokesman said. He remains on the loose.
Denver Police are searching the city for Eugene Felix Martinez, 48, who is believed to be on foot, said police spokesman Sonny Jackson.
"His criminal history is alarming," Jackson said. "Martinez has an extensive history of sexual assault in both Pueblo and Denver dating to 1994."
Martinez has several arrests for child sexual assault, court records show.
"Anytime you’ve got somebody preying on our children, that concerns us even more," Jackson said.
In April, Martinez was arrested for indecent exposure. He was taken to court and ordered to register as a sex offender. When he failed to do that, a warrant was issued for his arrest, Jackson said.
"It’s very frustrating when someone escapes your custody," Jackson said. "(Officers) went to the effort to arrest him and bring him here, and it's a frustrating situation for us that he was able to somehow escape his cuff and leave the building."
Another snafu gave Martinez a 90-minute head start before the police sent out a crime alert, notifying the media and the public to keep an eye out for the fugitive.
Jackson explained that the communications center, which is outside the police department, was switching from the normal communications center to a backup location. Somehow, the fugitive alert information was delayed in getting to the operational dispatch center, he said.
"It's just the perfect storm," Jackson said.
Martinez is approximately 5-foot-5 and weighs about 120 pounds. He has a scar on his forehead and a tattoo on his chest of a guitar with wings and the name "Diane."
When he escaped, he was wearing a black zip-up hoodie and black jeans, with blue sweat pants under the jeans. Police are offering a $2,000 reward for help finding him.
Martinez was originally arrested about 11:40 a.m. Wednesday at the Denver Greyhound Bus station at 1055 19th St. after police got a tip he would be there.
Officers took him to a room on the first floor of police headquarters where sex offenders go when they need to register or are arrested for failing to do so.
"So we brought him in, we handcuffed him to a bench area while we set up to do the interview about why he didn’t register. Subsequently the officer went to set up the (interview) room, "Jackson said. "(Martinez) was in an area where there were other officers, but he was able to escape the area and get out off his cuffs and escape the area."
Jackson said police are reviewing how Martinez escaped the cuffs and will review surveillance video inside the building.
"We take a lot of pride that we do our job well, and the fact that someone would be able to escape and walk out, that concerns us greatly," Jackson said.
Martinez has a long history of sex crimes, dating back to 1993 when he was arrested in Fremont County and later plead guilty to five counts of child sex assault and one count of trespassing. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
In 2008, he was arrested for indecent exposure in Fremont County and later plead no contest, and he was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
In 2011, Martinez was arrested and later plead guilty to assault, after a Pueblo woman said she woke to find him standing over her bed, staring at her.
In March of 2013, he was arrested in Pueblo County on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender and plead not guilty. He was set for trial in November.
In May of 2013, Denver police arrested him on a charge of indecent exposure, and he was released on bond.