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A suspected child molester whose case was recently featured on CNN’s The Hunt With John Walsh was killed in a New York City shootout on Monday.
Sexual-assault suspect Charles Richard Mozdir exchanged fire with a fugitive task force Monday in Greenwich Village, leaving the suspect dead and two federal marshals and a police detective wounded, authorities said.
Mozdir was arrested in California after the now-7-year-old son of two close friends told his parents that Mozdir touched his private parts while the suspect was taking care of him, CNN reported. A $1 million warrant was issued for Mozdir’s arrest after he failed to appear at his arraignment.
After the Hunt episode featuring Mozdir aired on July 20, authorities received a tip he was working at a restaurant in Manhattan, but the information didn’t pan out, Walsh told CNN. After the network re-aired Mozdir’s episode on Sunday night, another tip came in that included an address for Mozdir.
Authorities have searched for him in Georgia, California and Mexico, according to the show.
“He was on the run for almost two years. And this family was destroyed, terrified that he would come back and hurt them because they had the courage to come forward and file charges against him, and now they don’t have to worry if this guy’s coming back to hurt the family or hurt their little boy,” Walsh said Monday. “And they get justice.”
Walsh described Mozdir’s death as a “very shocking ending.”
“But it shows how much the public cares and how much they can help,” he added.
“This is our first capture. I’m very sorry that those police officers got wounded in the line of duty,” Walsh said, “but this is one more lowlife that’s off the streets.”
The wounded officers were in stable condition, Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters.
“We pray everything we are hearing is true and that these officers will be OK in the long run,” de Blasio said. The law enforcement officials’ exact injuries were unclear.
The shooting happened just after 1 p.m. in the West Village not far from New York University when a fugitive apprehension task force tried to serve a warrant to Mozdir, who was inside a smoke shop just north of a busy subway station.
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