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For Immediate Release

Contact:
June 19, 2012 Dominic Guadagnoli, Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force (850) 554-6602;
USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
U.S. Marshals Apprehend Sexual Offender as He Tries to Jump Out Hotel Window

Pensacola, FL – The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested a convicted sex offender who tried to elude them by jumping out of a 3rd story window. At 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Task Force knocked on the door of a room at a hotel located on the 8200 Block of N. Davis Highway attempting to arrest James Erik Cross. When Task Force Officers from the Marshals and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office knocked they immediately heard someone throw back drapes and quickly open the window. They forced the door open and found the 32-year old Cross halfway out of the window head first.

“As we approached the building we spoke about covering the window but because of the height we really felt it wasn’t necessary,” said Inspector Dominic Guadagnoli. “We figured if he tried (to jump out the window) the chase pretty much would end there nonetheless,” said Guadagnoli.

Task Force Officers immediately ran to the outside but others inside were able to stop Cross before he could go any further. Cross was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed without any further problems. A woman was also in the room but was later released after questioning. In the room officers came across a substance which was believed to be heroin and multiple hypodermic needles. At the time of his arrest, Cross and the female were not arrested on any additional charges. Cross was brought to the Escambia County Jail and warrants were served on him for violating his probation based on two counts of Failing to Register as a Convicted Sex Offender. Cross will remain in jail on no bond. Cross was originally convicted in Escambia County for Sexual Battery on a Child Under 12 Years of Age charge in 1997.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a fugitive can text “TIP411” or “847411” and enter the key word “USMFL”, or they can go to:
http://www.usmarshals.gov/investigations/taskfrcs/rftfs/florida/index.html, or go to the U.S. Marshals Web site: www.usmarshals.gov, click on “Apprehending Fugitives”, and then “Fugitive Task Forces” where a link can be found for the FRFTF’s web page.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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