Orlando police catch sex-offender who ran from caregiver



ORLANDO, Fla. - Investigators caught up with a violent and mentally ill sex offender Thursday, more than 24 hours after he disappeared in central Florida.

Michael Cooper, 53, was released from a prison in south Florida three weeks ago after serving one year of a four-year sentence for not complying with sex offender laws twice.

Cooper then came to Orlando to a treatment center.

Late Thursday morning, Orlando police warned the public that Cooper was in the area. They said he is dangerous and a schizophrenic, possible off his medications.

Cooper was last seen running from the Social Security office on Gatlin Avenue in Orlando Wednesday afternoon.

Channel 9's Kathi Belich was told that Cooper was at the Social Security office to register for benefits and that he ran from the building, telling his mental health caretaker he wanted food from the 7-Eleven convenience store across the street.

Orlando police investigators said it was a medical issue and that no crime was committed.

There are always armed, federal security officers at the Social Security office, but Belich was told that there were more on hand Thursday. 

Channel 9 learned that Cooper's caretaker works for a local mental health care facility and has taken other clients to the same Social Security office.
Thursday is Cooper's deadline to register as a sex offender. His recent four-year sentence was for failing to registering as a sex offender the last time he was released.

On Thursday afternoon police said they had located Cooper and that he had been returned to a local psychiatric facility.

There was no word on why Cooper served only one year of his four-year sentence.