Officials capture 65-year-old Cañon City prison escapee

Jerry Chase mug

CAÑON CITY, Colo. — The Department of Corrections confirmed that the 65-year-old man who escaped from a prison complex near Cañon city early Wednesday morning has been captured.

The DOC said Jerry Chase, 65, was missing during a 5 a.m. formal count at the Skyline Corrections Center, which is located on the East Cañon Prison complex. Chase was in the fourth year of serving three consecutive four-year sentences after being convicted of stalking and harassment in Grand County.

Officials say Chase never made it off of prison grounds, and was apprehended on the East Cañon Prison complex just after 3 p.m. He was brought into custody without incident.

The inmate was eligible for parole on Oct. 2, and his mandatory release date was scheduled for Oct. 2, 2019.

Chase is described as a white male, standing 6-feet and weighing approximately 180 pounds. He is mostly bald with thinning blonde hair on the sides of his head.

According to court records, Chase resided in Wapiti Meadows, a low-income housing complex in Grand County, from 2002 to 2008, when he met the three named victims in his case. Chase reportedly complained about his neighbors to the three victims, and was eventually accused of pouring sugar into the gas tank of one of their vehicles.

The neighbors were granted a restraining order against Chase shortly thereafter, an order that Chase reportedly violated when he got close enough to yell a racially-charged threat in their direction. Chase was evicted by his landlords shortly thereafter while he was out-of-town.

After the eviction, court records suggest Chase sent a string of obscenity- and threat-laced emails to the three named victims in the case. One of them reportedly included an image of a man pointing a gun at a judge. Chase said he was in Boston at the time the emails were sent.

Chase was accused of three counts of felony stalking for the emails sent to all three named victims, in addition to a series of misdemeanor harassment charges, and was convicted on all charges. He appealed, arguing Colorado did not have subject matter jurisdiction because the emails were sent from out of state. An appeals court disagreed, and Chase’s convictions were upheld.