Fugitive on the run for 8 years arrested in Polk County

Timothy Fritch wanted after violating parole on molestation charges

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WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Authorities arrested a fugitive wanted for violating his parole for molestation of a minor charges who was on the run for 8 years in Polk County on Tuesday.

Timothy A. Fritch, 66, was convicted in San Bernardino County California of Molestation of a Minor in 1986. As part of his sentence, he was required to register as a sexual offender, and was also later allowed out of the California prison system on parole, according to deputies. He violated his parole and a warrant was issued for his arrest on January 28, 2004.

Polk County deputies received word he was living in Winter Haven off of Coleman Road for less than a year, but gave fake addresses, phone numbers and identities.

Deputies teamed up with the US marshals and arrested Fritch, who refused to speak and feigned a medical condition. Fritch was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and was later booked into the Hillsborough County Jail after medical clearance.

"This suspect was granted parole in California without completing his full sentence. This is a problem we don't see in Florida," said Sheriff Grady Judd. "Timothy Fritch, a convicted sexual offender, has been an absonder from the California prison system for the past 8 years. We praise the US Marshals who are the best at tracking down criminals across the US."

Fritch is expected to face additional charges as the investigation continues.

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