As our recent gallery of the fifteen best face-and-neck-tattoo mug shots proves, alleged criminals and above-the-shoulders ink make a memorable combination. But can tats also be used to create a false identity?
Cody JC Dutton, a serial escape artist who's a wanted man in Colorado, gave this gambit a try using his own neck tattoo. Bad news, though: Not only didn't it work, but it led to him being both captured and tased. The strange details below.
Dutton, age 29, has a well-earned rep for busting out. 7News reports that his record includes a 2005 escape from the Archuleta County Jail in which he and two comrades "shimmied down a 25-foot air shaft with blankets" and a La Plata County getaway in 2009.
Turns out, though, that his history of fleeing goes back even further than that. We stumbled upon two articles from the Kingman Daily Miner circa 2002 revealing that the then-sixteen-year-old had been locked in a juvenile detention center in the area after allegedly stealing a Jeep Cherokee from an airport in Pagosa Springs (located in the aforementioned Archuleta County) and driving it to the Arizona community of Golden Valley, where his mother lived.
He was busted after a car chase -- and an assault rifle was found in his latest ride. But after the arrest, he assaulted a corrections officer and got away from the juvie facility, only to be recaptured a short time later.
Dutton's mom still lives in Golden Valley and despite his checkered past, they still have a relationship -- although what happened late last month has undoubtedly strained it.
Marijuana Deals Near You
At 2:12 a.m. on June 28, according to the Mojave County Sheriff's Office, deputies pulled over a driver near the not-quite-bustling intersection of Colorado Road and West Shipp Drive.
The area is seen in the following Google Maps screen capture:
The man allegedly identified himself as Stephen Crouse, which probably made sense at first, since, as seen in the image at the top of this post, he had a tattoo reading "Crouse" at the base of his neck.
When the deputies checked their computer for Stephen Crouse, however, they learned that his description didn't match that of the guy they'd just contacted. So they asked the driver to step out of his vehicle, at which point he pushed the deputies and began running into the desert.
He didn't get far. One of the deputies tased Dutton, causing him to fall to the ground on his belly and start moaning, the MCSO notes
Afterward, Dutton's behavior was so strange that medical personnel were called and he was transported to an area hospital. There, deputies met Dutton's mother, who confirmed his identity and said he was wanted on a Colorado warrant.
Once Duttong was medically released, he was taken into custody on charges of being a fugitive from justice and resisting arrest.
At last report, Dutton was in Mohave County jail, presumably awaiting extradition to Colorado. His captors would be well-advised to keep an eye on him.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Here's a larger look at Dutton's booking photo.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa June 2013: "Christopher Snow allegedly bungles gun shop burglary, escape attempt."