U.S. Marshals captured a Canadian fugitive living inside a Lakeland retirement community early Thursday morning.

  • George Hollingstead, 79, a Canadian fugitive, was apprehended
  • Police say he was charged with rape, incest and gross indeceny in late 1970s
  • He'll be sent back to Canada to face charges

George Hollingshead, 79, was arrested at his home in Lakeland Harbor.

He's wanted in Canada for several sexual assault charges including rape, incest and gross indecency. According to the U.S. Marshal’s Office, the crimes happened between 1971 and 1977.

People living in the community were shocked by the news.

"I'm very surprised," said Scot Ludlow, who lives down the street. "It's such a quiet neighborhood. Everybody sticks to themselves."

"It’s very scary that somebody can get in here and live so close to you," said said Roxanna Tyner, who lives around the corner. "I have a son with special needs here and I don't need something like that around here."

Others in the neighborhood called Hollingshead friendly, and said he's never been a problem.

"I see him go back and forth on the golf cart but that’s it, and I see him out there cutting the grass. I thought he just got married,” said Terry Tenney, another neighbor.

Neighbors believe Hollingshead has lived in Lakeland Harbor for at least 10 years, in two different homes.

A woman answered the door Thursday at the home where he was arrested. She initially declined to comment. Then, she said she "thought everyone in this country was innocent until proven guilty."

The US Marshal’s Office didn’t explain how they were able to locate Hollingshead, only that Canadian authorities asked for help arresting him at the end of April.

Hollingshead is being held at the Pinellas County Jail, awaiting extradition back to Canada.