Fugitive’s cross-country, 2-year run from child-molestation charges ends in NYC shootout that kills him

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Charles Mozdir, inset, was working at a smoke shop om West Fourth Street in Greenwich Village.

Charles Mozdir, inset, was working at a smoke shop on West Fourth Street in Greenwich Village.

GREENWICH VILLAGE (PIX11) – A fugitive child-molestation suspect wanted in California and featured on a CNN crime show Sunday night was shot and killed by law enforcers Monday afternoon in Greenwich Village after he opened fire on an NYPD detective and two U.S. marshals who were trying to arrest him.

The law enforcers, who are in stable condition, are expected to recover from their injuries in the shootout shortly after 1 p.m. at the small  Smoking Culture smoke shop at  177 W. 4th St. The suspect, Charles Mozdir , a 32-year-old photographer from California who had changed his appearance after more than two years on the run, was working at the shop, police said.

Child-welfare advocate John Walsh, the host of the CNN show “The Hunt,”  told the news network that Sunday’s repeat airing of the segment on Mozdir led to new information on the location of the suspect wanted on a million-dollar warrant.

Mozdir in June 2012 had fled authorities in San Diego, who wanted him for allegedly sexually abusing a feverish 7-year-old boy he had cared for while in the presence of the boy's mother, who was sleeping in a bed besides the child when the abuse happened, CNN's "The Hunt" reported. The child belonged to two of his friends, according to CNN. Mozdir had also been accused of sexually assaulting another young boy he had been babysitting.

Mozdir, CNN reported, was arrested four days later and was released on bail from San Diego County jail. Authorities had found child porn and photos of bestiality on his phone and computers, CNN reported. He did not appear at his June 15, 2012, arraignment at San Diego Superior Court and was at large until Monday afternoon's shootout.

Authorities from the Coronado Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service searched for him far and wide, CNN reported, and on June 20, 2012, found Mozdir's car in Georgia.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the NYPD detective first entered the store to confirm that Mozdir was in the store and alone.  Shortly thereafter, the detective and the two U.S. marshals entered, and Mozdir opened fire with his .32-caliber revolver, with 20 spare rounds in his pocket.

Police credited the bulletproof vest the detective was wearing with possibly saving his life. Investigators recovered a bullet that was lodged in the vest, and displayed the vest for reporters at a news conference at Bellevue Hospital Center Monday afternoon.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio display the vest that protected the detective from a possibly lethal wound.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio display the vest that protected the detective from a possibly lethal wound.

The NYPD detective, who has more than 20 years' experience and had recently been promoted, was working with the federal Fugitive Task Force.  One marshal was shot in the buttocks and the other was shot in the arm. The detective was shot twice in the stomach and was undergoing surgery.

Police declined to identify them, but said their prospects for recovery were good.

"We feel such gratitude, such appreciation for their bravery," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.

This is a developing story; refresh for updates.



    • Dan Held

      President Obama had little to do with the cessation of Stop & Frisk in NYC although I’m not in agreement with that cessation. Presuming that he did make comments regarding the wholesale stopping of minorities in this police procedure, it was other forces including the much-maligned ACLU as well as media who encouraged the near-dismantling of this procedure combined with the statistics revealing the relatively small ‘discoveries’ found amongst those put on the wall.

  • mike

    This is a child molester who was wanted nation wide and now he is dead. I will pray for the 2 U.S. Marshals and the NYPD detective.

  • woodie

    This is why the police are heavy handed with people who resist arrest. Make that note in your little notebook.

    • Maria

      You are making fun of a very sad situation. This man was a predator and a pedophile who obviously wanted to die. I feel sad for everyone here, the children who were molested, their parents, the officers who got shot and even the family of this very lost soul….The good things is he will no longer be able to ruin someone else’s life. Democrats are NOT what is wrong with this country, is people like you (and some people in the Republican Party).

  • Eddie

    Figures he would have absolutely no problem getting a job and an apartment in the liberal cesspool of the east coast New York city

    • mahituna

      grab a cup of coffee,hop on your sheriffs website and start counting the required to register sex offenders living near you, you can stop counting when you finish your coffee, and sit back and relax at your neighborhood

    • Dan Held

      Anytime any part of this still-wonderful country is referred to as a ‘cesspool’ it’s because of the Eddie’s of the world.

  • lovecleanbooks

    Crimes against children are so heinous that accused pedophiles like Mozdir, Sylvain Kustyan, Jerry Sandusky, etc. must be apprehended before they have years to continue to destroy young lives. Sandusky and Mozdir are now safely out of the picture. But unfortunately, Kustyan, who has been formally charged with two counts each of 1st Degree Sodomy and Sexual Abuse of a ten-year-old little boy, fled to avoid imminent arrest. Kustyan, formerly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Hermin/ Mazingarbe, France, as an English teacher, has led numerous groups of schoolchildren on trips to the US, the UK and Ireland.. Pedophiles condemn their victims to a lifetime of emotional and psychological trauma and often permanent physical ailments as well. Since the average pedophile has 300 different victims in their lifetime and since the recidivism rate among pedophiles is virtually 100% and since there is no effective treatment and no known cure they must be stopped ASAP!

  • chris

    It’s a sickness to those people. If u watched the hunt it explains how strong the need for them to fulfill their sick desires are. I believe they all should be in a cell for the rest of their life or dead. There is no rehabilitation for those animals. . Put them all down

  • Roger

    The suspect molested a very young boy (under age 8 as I recall) while that boy slept next to his ill mother in their bed. The suspect had been ‘asked’ to watch over/babysit the kid because the Mom was so sick (flu or something as the show said)… ‘while he was next to his sleeping mother…’ Very sad that three officers got hit but they certainly saved the cost of a lengthy trial.

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