Medford imposter became Texas grad student with false ID
The Oregon fugitive captured last month by a Texas university was a graduate student living under a false identity.
Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, who's had Jackson County warrants for his arrest since 2001 in a bizarre Medford forgery case, is now jailed in Fort Worth, Texas, on accusations he used a fabricated driver's license to enroll in doctoral programs at the University of Texas at Arlington, according to new arrest details released by the school.
Hanson remains at Tarrant County Jail, where he's been booked since November, but a redacted University of Texas police report details a monthslong investigation by police agencies in at least three states — among them Medford police — culminating in his October arrest at an Atlanta apartment.
Hanson, 42, has an apparent history of enrolling in schools under false identities, which began two decades ago in Southern Oregon. Since 2001, he's had an open Jackson County felony forgery warrant accusing him of falsifying his birth date to enroll at South Medford High School and posing as a homeless 17-year-old, according to previous news reports and documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court. Hanson was actually in his mid-20s at the time and had already graduated with honors from Eagle Point High School in 1994.
In fall 2015, Hanson enrolled at UT Arlington's School of Social Work under the identity "Skylar Michael Gregory Joyner," the UTA police report shows. Other aliases outlined in the 28-page report include "Skylar Michael Dal Porto" and "Michael Gregory Joyner," though others may have been redacted. In January, the school's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services authorized a tuition waiver under the false ID, granting him a tuition waiver that totaled $14,588 for fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters.
An online curriculum vitae hosted on a UT Arlington server shows that under his Skylar Joyner identity, Hanson was an ambitious social work graduate research assistant who described himself as an "Innovator, Scholar and Futurist" and passionate about the "collaborative intersection of Emerging Technology, Social Work and Biometrics." As of the page's most recent update in December 2016, he was listed with the title of Graduate Research Assistant I.
Much of what was redacted in the police report appeared to revolve around his whereabouts prior to his enrollment at UTA. According to a WordPress blog attributed to Joyner titled "Digitalization of Humans," under the Skylar Joyner identity Hanson got an associate degree from Santa Monica College, a bachelor's degree from Wichita State University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma.
Classroom outbursts at UT Arlington last spring ultimately unraveled Hanson's false identity.
An incident in which Hanson pounded his fists on the table and shouted on April 20 brought to a head more than 30 pages of complaints and referrals from five professors and one student. Reports of "rolling eyes and badgering instructors," and "unprofessional and inappropriate behaviors" reached the point that administrators opted to remove him from the university's social work doctoral program.
Ahead of a May 8 meeting, administrators had police perform a criminal history check.
What university police found on Skylar Joyner through the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System was redacted in the police report, but the same day, the university's School of Social Work removed Hanson, and university police questioned him as to whether he'd ever gone by his true name, Daniel Charles Hanson. After denying any knowledge of the name to university police, he stuck to his fabricated backstory claiming he was adopted and never lived in Oregon.
University police gathered Hanson's fingerprint cards from police agencies in Salem and Medford, and Medford police interviewed Hanson's father to confirm his identity. From the Los Angeles police Wilshire Division, investigators gathered a fingerprint card for an apparent alias, Michael Gregory Joyner from a 2005 arrest. A trained fingerprint examiner confirmed they matched, and a warrant for his arrest was issued May 11.
A manhunt ensued starting May 30 when he wasn't found at his Arlington, Texas apartment. His roommate said he hadn't seen him in weeks, although he paid his May rent and apparently left behind personal belongings in his bedroom. He was not arrested until October.
Hanson faces a felony charge of tampering with a government or school record, a third-degree felony under Texas law. Messages to the Tarrant County District Attorney's office as to the progress of Hanson's case were not immediately returned.
Oregon court records show that Hanson was convicted of felony arson and misdemeanor reckless endangering in a 1995 Marion County case for setting fires and damaging property in several 1995 incidents at a Salem dormitory for the Tokyo International University of America, which is affiliated with Willamette University. Hanson had a full-ride scholarship to Willamette that year, previous news reports show.
Also in 1995, Phoenix police arrested him for fabricating his birth date to attend Phoenix High School, but Jackson County never prosecuted the case.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.