'High-risk' sex offender charged with kidnapping, holding mother and child at knifepoint
A "high-risk" registered sex offender with a criminal record that goes back to his childhood faced a judge on Monday in a terrifying kidnapping case.
The suspect, Christopher Hahn-Collins, 25, is accused of kidnapping a mother and child at knifepoint in their home near Salem.
KATU discovered he's had a series of problems since getting out of prison on Sept. 22.
Like nearly 98 percent of Oregon's registered sex offenders, Hahn-Collins is not listed on the state's public sex offender registry.
He was convicted of first-degree sex abuse and strangulation in 2011. Despite that Oregon State Police told KATU Hahn-Collins is not listed publicly because he failed to report for his initial registration and Oregon's Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision has not yet classified him.
"Really, it's any person's worst nightmare," said Lt. Chris Baldridge, the spokesman for the Marion County Sheriff's Office, regarding the crime.
He said Hahn-Collins held the mother and child at knifepoint starting late Friday afternoon.
"She came home. He was inside of the residence," Baldridge said. "He then kept her captive for about the next 24 hours."
Around 1 p.m. Saturday Baldridge said the mom talked Hahn-Collins into taking them out of her home near Southeast Salem and into the Dick's Sporting Goods store on Lancaster Drive.
Once inside, he said she began mouthing the words "help me" to customers who called 911.
"Of course our deputies responded and they quickly detained Mr. Hahn-Collins," Baldridge explained.
He said the mother and child were not physically harmed and that investigators don't believe they knew Hahn-Collins. Baldridge would not explain why the mom asked Hahn-Collins to take them to Dick's Sporting Goods and not somewhere else, saying, "There's a lot of the details in this that are very sensitive to the investigation."
Hahn-Collins was on county supervision and already in trouble before last weekend.
"He had a felony warrant for his arrest for being on abscond, so he had stopped talking to his parole and probation officer," Baldridge said.
He described the kidnapping as a unique, scary and traumatic incident.
"It doesn't happen often thankfully," Baldridge said. "The victim, in this case, did everything right. They remained calm, kept their family safe and then got to a place where they could get themselves some help as soon as possible."
Oregon's Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision is now re-classifying the state's more than 29,000 sex offenders into a three-tiered system, with level 3 offenders appearing publicly.
Sgt. Kaipo Raiser, an Oregon State Police spokesman, said so far the board has classified only around 8.5 percent of the state's offenders. The project was originally supposed to be done by the end of 2016. The deadline was later moved to the end of 2018. In 2017, the state Legislature again extended the deadline to Dec. 1, 2022.
Raiser said Hahn-Collins "has an extensive juvenile history with various crimes, none of which are sex crimes."
Regarding his parole, Baldridge sent KATU an email saying in part:
"Mr. Collins began his supervision with Marion County on 09/22/17 after serving a prison sentence within the Oregon Department of Corrections. ... Under an assessment conducted by the Marion County parole officer, Mr. Collins was deemed a high-risk sex offender and supervised in accordance with that designation.
Upon his release from prison, Mr. Collins was directed to reside at the Union Gospel Mission. Mr. Collins refused to reside at the mission so his parole was violated resulting in his incarceration on 09/28/17. Mr. Collins served 4 days in the Marion County Jail for this violation of parole.
Upon his release from jail, Mr. Collins was directed Maron County Parole Officer to reside at the Marion County Transition Center. Mr. Collins refused to abide by these conditions and again his parole was violated. On 10/10/17 Mr. Collins was again taken into custody and served 8 days in jail for the parole violation.
On 11/02/17, Mr. Collins refused to stay at the transition center resulting in his arrest. For this parole violation, he served 12 days in the Marion County Jail.
On 11/27/17, Mr. Collins was ordered to report to his parole officer. When he failed to show for that appointment the parole officer submitted for an arrest warrant. That warrant was issued on 11/28/17.
Prior to 11/27/17, Mr. Collins remained in contact with his parole officer despite his refusal to abide by his living conditions."
Oregon has the most sex offenders per capita in the U.S. As KATU has reported, Oregon lists far fewer sex offenders publicly than surrounding states.