Serial sex offender arrested in Oklahoma says he fled because he - Dallas News |

Serial sex offender arrested in Oklahoma says he fled because he couldn't be free

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A sex offender who was arrested in Oklahoma Monday after fleeing from a Dallas halfway house says that he cut off his ankle bracelet and left because he saw no way of ever living as a free man.

"They never let you off," Robert Charles Grunsfeld, 51, told FOX 4 on Tuesday. "I've done my time. They put me in a halfway house, and they say they're never letting you out. I've done four years there and 24 in prison."

Grunsfeld was located and arrested Monday night near McAlester after the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office received a tip from a parole officer that Grunsfeld was being dropped off at a Taco Bell, where sheriff's deputies were waiting.

Grunsfeld, who is considered a violent sexual predator, had been added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list by the Department of Public Safety after fleeing the halfway house Friday.

Grunsfeld has been convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault, and he was wanted for felony failure to comply with civil commitment requirements. Following his arrest, he waived extradition and will soon be picked up by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Joel Kerns said the arrest was without incident, though he and his officers had no idea that Texas authorities considered Grunsfeld armed and dangerous.

According to court records, Grunsfeld was a suspect in three other assaults that he was not charged with.

A psychologist called Grunsfeld "cunning, mainpulative, violent and dangerous." One victim testified he "repeatedly used a stun gun on her during the sexual assault." In another, he reportedly "sprayed the victim in the face with mace."

The psychologist described an increasingly violent pattern of "sexually sadistic behavior," and Grunsfeld himself testified in court that drugs and caused him to make horrible decisions.

The Way Back House, where Grunsfeld escaped from, is a onetime hotel-turned-county-jail and now one of nine halfway houses across the state that house prison parolees.

When Grunsfeld's prison time ended in March 2010, he was deemed still a threat as a sexual predator and moved to Way Back under what's called civil commitment -- an open ended term of confined treatment that ends only when a judge rules the parolee is no longer a threat.

Sheriff Kerns said a female who was driving Grunsfeld is a real estate agent from Dallas Fort Worth and a friend of his who convinced police she didn't know he was on the run. After questioning, she was released.

Former state judge John Creuzot is not associated with this case, but says this escape attempt will likely land Grunsfeld back in prison.

"When you've had a life sentence and you were fortunate enough to win your appeal and get a 20-year sentence, and you serve it all and you go to the facility in the halfway house, and then you cut your ankle bracelet off and then escape to another state, you probably will get a sentence resulting in you spending the rest of your life in prison," he said.

Authorities aren't saying just how Grunsfeld broke out of the halfway house.


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