By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Police captured a sex offender who escaped from the so-called Designated Receiving Facility operated by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services on the campus of the former Laconia State School shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The man, identified as Roman Cornelius, 27, was taken into custody by Tilton police near the Valvoline Instant Oil Change on Laconia Road in Tilton. He was then turned over to Laconia Police.
Sgt. Bob Cameron of the Laconia Police, said Cornelius had walked from Laconia to Tilton. A neighbor of Detective Kevin Butler of the Laconia Police saw Cornelius walking along Route 3, and suspected he was the person police were pursuing and called Butler, who alerted the Tilton police. Butler went to the scene accompanied by Detective Tom Swett.
According to police, Cornelius and a case worker went outside Wednesday to collect mail and Cornelius told the case worker, "I'm taking off," and off he went.
Laconia Police, assisted by a K-9 Unit of the New Hampshire State Police, combed the wooded area bordered by North Main Street, Eastman Shore Road and Meredith Center Road during the late afternoon. Residents of the neighborhood had been advised to remain indoors and report any suspicious activity as police pursued the search.
According to police, Cornelius is wanted on a number of charges brought by Concord police, including sexual offenses.
Cornelius, who has lived under the supervision of a caretaker for some time, is well known to the Concord Police.
On July 24, 2015 Cornelius was arrested twice by Concord Police. Shortly before 10:30 a.m. he was arrested on charges of possessing controlled drugs and theft of lost property and shortly before 10 p.m. he was arrested for breach of bail conditions. In the morning, police spotted Cornelius, whom they knew to be under supervised care, riding a bicycle on South Main Street and stopped to see if he was supposed to be downtown without supervision. Police found that the National Crime Information Center identified Cornelius as a missing person. He was detained, and when questioned about the bicycle confessed to stealing it. Police also found him in possession of marijuana. He was arrested and released, but 12 hours later officers were dispatched to The Draft, a downtown bar, where Cornelius was reportedly arguing with his caretaker. Police found Cornelius on a nearby street, determined he had been drinking and arrested him for violating his bail conditions.
In November 2015 Cornelius was again arrested and charged with criminal threatening after brandishing a knife at his caretaker, who he told police had stolen his money to go to the movies.
On May 20, 2016 Concord Police arrested Cornelius, who then lived at 26 Electric St. in the Penacook section of Concord, as a missing person and for possession of a controlled drug. He was listed by the National Crime Information Center as an individual requiring supervision and had been missing since the day before he was arrested. At the time of his arrest he was found asleep in the lobby of the Kennedy Apartments on Thompson Street in downtown Concord and told police he walked there from Penacook.
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