LAS VEGAS – A convicted armed robber who broke free from a Florida prison more than 30 years ago was arrested by Metro Police in Las Vegas on Thursday along with three other fugitives, according to FOX5Vegas.com.
Charles D. Free, now 61, escaped from jail in 1975 when he was still known as Jack Hazen. He changed his name and social security number, moved to Las Vegas, got married, raised children and landed a construction job, FOX5Vegas reported.
Authorities said they tracked down Free based on a tip from a cold case detective in Tallahassee, Fla. He didn't seem at all surprised when police came to his home to take him into custody.
"(Hazen) came to Vegas 23 to 25 years ago (and) married under the name Free," said Sgt. Dave Stansbury. "His family had no idea — didn't know his prior name, didn't know his history, just knew him as a hardworking, tax-paying citizen here in the valley."
Patrick Atherley, a family friend, said Free was a clean-cut, quiet, helpful man.
"(It's) a total shock to me. I had no idea. Who does?" said Atherley. "(I) never had the slightest indication he was hiding something. (He was) always straightforward and upfront, and that's the way he was."