Suspected Coronado child molester killed in NYC arrest attempt
A shoot-out on the streets of New York with a San Diego-area connection: three law enforcement officers are wounded, their suspect dead and a child sex assault case has come to an end. The case began in Coronado June of 2012, when the parents of a 7-year-old boy came to Coronado police to tell them they thought their son had been molested. The assailant – a trusted family friend. Detectives say they discovered evidence the suspect was a sexual deviant who’d already been charged with victimizing another child. But before they could get him to court, he disappeared. The alleged victim’s parents told their story this week in a new true-crime television show called The Hunt.
“I actually tried to convince my wife to call Charlie knowing that he is a night-owl, that he sleeps in the middle of the day and is up at night on his computer,” said the boy’s father, remaining anonymous on the CNN television show.
A trusted family friend, Charles Richard Mozdir, was babysitting the couple’s 7-year-old when they say Mozdir sexually assaulted the child. They went to Coronado police.
“They did the right by coming forward right away so we could get the ball rolling as far as our investigation,” stated detective Angel Cedeno of Coronado police on the TV show.
Coronado police arrested Mozdir on six criminal counts.
“Coronado investigators found evidence of child pornography and bestiality on his cellphone and his computers,” said deputy Brian Grimes of the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
“He appeared to be shocked,” continued Cedeno. “He denied that he had done anything wrong. He continually asked me why he was being arrested and what his charges were.”
But just as authorities were about to put Mozdir on trial, he vanished.
“His family had bailed him out and put up a pretty big bail bond, for what I know of, and we were all hopeful that he would be (at court) and they could serve him the restraining order. Well, he didn’t show up,” stated the boy’s mother anonymously.
It would be months before investigators picked up on Mozdir’s trail. His car was found abandoned and hidden in rural Georgia – its license plate stripped, its interior full of trash – suggesting the fugitive had been living in it. Then last week, the CNN show aired; federal marshals were standing by.
“The Marshals had their mobile crime unit which actually pulled up to the hotline and we got some terrific tips, and it zeroed in on Manhattan,” said New York Police Commissioner William Bratton.
On the other side of the country, authorities thanked the public for the tips and said the family could have closure.
“Now, they know that their case has been seen to the end,” explained Steve Jurman of the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
The New York City police detective was hit in the vest, but spared because he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Also, he took a slug to the stomach. After surgery, his condition has been stabilized and he will survive. In a New York City hospital, the two U.S. Marshals – one struck in the buttocks, one struck in the elbow – are also in stable condition and expected to recover fully.