Fugitive child molester Charles Mozdir lived as “John Smith’’ for at least a year and a half in the heart of Greenwich Village, posing as just another quirky, shaggy-haired denizen amid the tourist-filled boutiques and seedy sex shops.
The one-time baby-faced California native settled in the Village with his black lab, Lucky, and grew a ZZ Top’ beard because he knew the area “is notorious for weirdos,’’ a law-enforcement source told The Post on Tuesday.
Predator tried to blend in with West Village ‘weirdos’
By Antonio Antenucci, Priscilla DeGregory, Selim Algar and Jamie Schram
New York Post
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The shooting happened just after 1pm in the West Village not far from New York University when a fugitive apprehension task force tried to serve a warrant at a shop called Smoking Culture NYC.
The store sells items including bongs, cigarettes and cigars and it is believed that Mozdir was behind the counter and working when the authorities showed up.
Two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective were wounded in the shooting which erupted at around 1pm today.
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the detective's life had been saved by his bullet-proof vest.
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she heard a loud noise and when she looked out her front window she noticed the shop was surrounded by a number of unmarked cars and there was a helicopter overhead.
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'What is really upsetting is that he was a sex offender and that he had a gun,' she told MailOnline.
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A $1 million bench warrant was issued for Mozdir's arrest on June 15, 2012, after he skipped an arraignment in San Diego Superior Court on child sexual assault charges, according to Steve Walker, a spokesman for the San Diego County district attorney. He had posted $250,000 bail.
Mozdir had been wanted on five counts of lewd acts upon a child younger than 14 and a charge of attempting to keep a witness from prosecuting a crime, according to the criminal complaint.
The one-time wedding photographer has been accused by a family friend of molesting her seven-year-old son while babysitting him in Coronado, near San Diego.
After he disappeared, investigators had found sickening images of child pornography and bestiality on his cell phone and computers at his home.
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Law enforcement had hunted him from California to Mexico to the deep south and finally to New York City.
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Mozdir allegedly molested a young boy whose parents were friends of his while he served as a babysitter in June 2012, reported CNN in The Hunt.
He molested the boy while his mother slept in bed next to him, his father told CNN.
Pictured: Sex offender on the run for two years for molesting two young boys is killed after shooting two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective in lunch-time Greenwich Village gun battle
A sex offender who had been on the run for two years has been shot dead following a dramatic shoot-out in New York City on Monday afternoon
Charles Mozdir, 32, had been being accused of molesting two young boys in California in 2012
Two federal marshals and a police officer were wounded in the incident in Greenwich Village
They have been taken to hospital, but are expected to live
The incident happened at a shop called Smoking Culture NYC where the fugitive apprehension task force attempted to make an arrest
Mozdir's case featured on a recent episode of CNN's The Hunt
A tip-off received after the TV program aired on Sunday is believed to have led to the task force closing in on Mozdir at his place of work
By LOUISE BOYLE and DAVID MCCORMACK and ZOE SZATHMARY
Daily Mail (UK)
PUBLISHED: 13:01 EST, 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:15 EST, 28 July 2014