A man sought on a felony arrest warrant for rape for almost a year and a half has been apprehended in Lewisburg, W.V., where he was working for a carnival, according to Magazine Police Chief Boyd Hicks.
Eric Scott Paulson, 47, was described as "on the run" by Logan County investigators in February of 2012 and multiple attempts to apprehend him have been unsuccessful, Hicks said.
However, Hicks said he received a tip through a family member of the alleged victim that Paulson was working for a carnival in Lewisburg and everything kind of fell into place from there in what the chief says is divine intervention.
Hicks said he first called Ray Gack of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office who then called the Lewisburg Police Department and faxed a copy of the warrant for Paulson.
Hicks said he then went to the carnival’s website and picked the bottom name on a list of contacts. When a man answered the call, Hicks said he told him that he may have a wanted individual working for the company and Hicks needed to know who was operating the company’s staff in Lewisburg.
It turned out that the man on the other end of the phone call was that person. The carnival manager said he had an Eric working for him but as he understood it, his last name was not Paulson.
Hicks assured the manager, Paulson could be going by a different last name and that the information he had was that Paulson was operating a quarter machine. The manager then told Hicks that would be the Eric working for him.
Additionally, the man Hicks called said he was on his way to eat dinner with the Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill and that he would inform her of the situation.
Shortly afterward, the manager, sheriff and Lewisburg PD approached Paulson and he was taken into custody without incident, Hicks said.
"I really appreciate the cooperation and outstanding work of those agencies," Hicks said of the West Virginia law enforcement offices. "as well as Ray Gack of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office."
Paulson’s arrest warrant stemmed from an alleged incident in 2009 that was reported in 2011, according to published reports.
Paulson is accused of raping a then 14-year old girl who was staying over night at his home. The girl claimed she had fallen asleep and woke up with the man raping her, according to incident reports.
She reported the alleged incident in December of 2011 and was interviewed by a representative of the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division.
Paulson was also interviewed in December of 2011 and denied the allegations. He also apparently agreed to take a lie detector test and was supposed to make arrangements to do so before he went missing.
A vehicle belonging to Paulson was found abandoned in Pennsylvania after the warrant was issued.
Paulson, Gack said in February of 2011, was also wanted in Florida, where he already had convictions of drug and theft charges.