Colombian fugitive swims away from Charlotte County deputies

Published: Updated:
Photo via CCSO

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – A Colombian fugitive wanted by the International Criminal Police Organization for allegedly committing sex crimes was last seen at the Charlotte County Beach Complex where he escaped from deputies on Saturday, according to a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office warrant request.

Mauricio “Carlos” Espinosa Torres, 65, was sleeping on a bench after park hours when deputies approached him around 9 p.m., according to CCSO records. They asked him questions about his identity, but were only able to get his correct information after finding a Florida driver’s license in his backpack, according to the warrant request. The deputies discovered he was a fugitive, but were unauthorized to legally arrest him on outstanding charges from Colombia, deputies said.

Deputies said they also discovered prescription pills and OxyContin in Torres’ backpack. One deputy began to search Torres while the other spoke on the phone with authorities, CCSO records show. At that moment, Torres took off towards the shore, dove into the gulf and began swimming away, according to CCSO’s warrant request.

CCSO called for a search by water and air, deputies said, but the search was suspended at 1 a.m. on Sunday. Torres was shoeless and wearing a white shirt and khaki shorts Saturday when he was last seen around 9:15 p.m., deputies said. CCSO said he is often in the area near Gingold Street.

Torres is not known to be violent, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, but deputies ask that anyone with information call the sheriff’s office at 941-639-2101 or 9-1-1.

The fugitive is now facing charges in Southwest Florida for narcotics and resisting arrest without violence, deputies said.

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