COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A nationwide search for a New Hampshire man suspected of kidnapping his four children in an apparent custody dispute was apprehended Saturday afternoon by an alert Cheyenne Mountain State Park ranger.
Ranger Jason Hagan, a five-year veteran of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, was getting gas in his patrol vehicle at a service station on the south side of Colorado Springs on Saturday when he spotted a white Chevy with New Hampshire plates pulling a pop-up camper trailer. The vehicle was being driven by a man and had four children inside.
“I had been told by Senior Ranger Darcy Mount to be on the lookout for a vehicle matching that description,” Hagan said. “We were especially interested because the suspect reportedly was in the Colorado Springs area because he has family here.
“Our information told us he was supposed to be in the area for a camping trip but he didn’t bring them home on time.”
Hagan said he took a hard look at the driver and was convinced he was face-to-face with the man being sought by authorities in New Hampshire, so he got on his radio to call in for backup from Colorado State Patrol.
“The driver realized I was calling him in and he pulled up next to our truck,” Hagan said, noting he had Thomas Duff, a CPW ranger trainee, in the truck with him. “We jumped out of our truck and took control of him. He was agitated and didn’t want to be in handcuffs. But we were able to cuff him and hold him until the State Patrol arrived.”
Hagan said the suspect put up only slight resistance and tried to convince the rangers they had the situation all wrong.
“He was trying to talk his way out of it,” Hagan said.
The children didn’t appear to be harmed or in any danger, Hagan said, and they were taken by Colorado Department of Human Services and put into protective custody. The suspect was later released.
EDITORS NOTE: Ranger Jason Hagan is available to be interviewed today promptly at 5:30 p.m. at the Visitor’s Center at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, located at 410 JL Ranch Heights south of Colorado Springs, off Colorado Highway 115.