Child rape fugitive captured - Caught working at Carnival

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Hermitage man who has been wanted by police since February, when he cut off an electronic monitoring device and fled as he awaited trial on child rape charges, was captured in East Tennessee last night.

Jeremy Duffer, 35, was working for a traveling carnival in Rockwood, Tenn., when one of the workers walked up to an off-duty police officer and said a co-worker was acting suspiciously, Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron said.

"The Rockwood officer called for a Roane County deputy sheriff and the two of them approached this suspiciously acting carnival worker, who turned out to be Duffer," Aaron said.

Initially Duffer told them that his name was Paul Johnson. When the suspect offered to call his mother and have tell confirm his identify, the police said they would call the woman themselves.

"The mother finally told the deputy after 15 minutes that the man they were talking to was Jeremy Duffer."

Metro Police planned to pick up the fugitive from the Roane County Jail and bring him back to Nashville early this morning.

Since Duffer fled after posting bond, police have placed billboards with Duffer's picture throughout the city. He was the first fugitive to have his picture posted on a billboard in a program Metro Police recently began.

The former Hermitage game store worker is accused of raping a teenage boy he befriended at the store.

Aaron was asked if the man had been around children.

"Well, who do carnivals attract? Children of all ages." •
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