California fugitive captured in Winter Haven after eight years in hiding
Polk County deputies have arrested a Winter Haven man who has been a fugitive for eight years after violating his parole on a California conviction of having sex with a minor. Polk County detectives, working with U.S. Marshals Service, located Timothy A. Fritch, 66, at his Winter Haven home. He was taken into custody on Friday. "After eight years on the run, this suspect chose Polk County as a wrong place to hide," Sheriff Grady Judd said. Fritch was convicted in San Bernardino County, Calif., in 1986 on charges he molested a minor, records show. As part of his sentence, he was required to register as a sexual offender, and released on parole.Records show he violated his parole and a warrant was issued for his arrest in January 2004. He fled and has been a fugitive the past eight years, using fake addresses, phone numbers and identities to avoid detection. Through the investigation, detectives determined Fritch had been living in Winter Haven for less than a year. After being taken into custody, Fritch refused to speak and feigned a medical condition, deputies say. He was transported to a hospital for evaluation and was later booked into the Hillsborough County Jail after medical clearance. Fritch faces violation of parole charges in California. The investigation is ongoing, and authorities say additional charges are expected.