Colorado Authorities Recapture Inmate Who Escaped for Fourth Time

Authorities in Colorado have recaptured an inmate who escaped from a maximum-security prison.

State and federal officials said 48-year-old Douglas J. Alward was arrested Wednesday in a corn field near the northeast Colorado town of Yuma.

Alward was serving a 20- to- 40-year sentence at the Sterling Correctional Facility for attempted murder, assault, burglary and kidnapping.

Police said Alward fled the prison, about 100 miles northeast of Denver, on Sunday. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Katherine Sanguinetti said authorities, including the FBI, went door-to-door in towns and rural areas near Sterling in their search for him.

It was the fourth escape for Alward, who was first incarcerated in 1980 for a conviction of attempted first-degree murder, assault and burglary. He escaped from Buena Vista Correctional Facility on Dec. 2, 1980, by running from a prison bus with an inner tube and jumping into the Arkansas River in southern Colorado, Sanguinetti said.

Officials caught him a short time later as he floated down the river.

About five years later, on Aug. 22, 1985, Alward escaped from the Colorado Territorial Facility. Sanguinetti said Alward broke into a storage area of the kitchen and escaped from the building through a hole in the wall. He used some boards and a rope to scale a prison wall, broke into a state transportation building, stole a dump truck and crashed it through a gate.

He was caught about five weeks later in Arizona, though Sanguinetti did not immediately have details of his capture.

On July 7, 1991, Alward was at the Fremont County Jail for a court appearance when he and another inmate overpowered a guard and stole the deputy's 9-mm. service weapon. Alward and the accomplice kidnapped a 19-year-old woman and released her in Colorado Springs, about 40 miles away from the courthouse, Sanguinetti said.

Alward fled the state and was spotted about a week later in Idaho, where he fired shots at a policeman and kidnapped a man in Garden City, Idaho. He was captured in Ontario, Ore., the next day following a police chase.

Alward would have been eligible for parole in October and had worked his way to a classification considered just below minimum risk.

The Associated Press contributed to this report