tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 28, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
that we could transform these lion killers to the point where they would risk their own lives to stop other people from killing lions. when i first moved here, i never heard lions roaring. now i hear lions roaring all the time. >> the next hour of cnn tonight starts right now. this is cnn tonight. hunted down, a fugitive named charles mozdir gunned down this afternoon. he was wanted a child molestation charges but he posted bail, disappeared and became a fugitive featured on john walsh's cnn show, the hunt. tips led authorities to track him down today in lower manhattan where the search culminated in a wild shoot-out inside a smoke shop in a busy neighborhood. police say mozdir was killed and three officers were wounded as they attempted to take him into custody. tonight the story behind fugitive charles mozdir, his crime, his time on the run and
his final hours. later, john walsh will join me live here in studio with his reaction. and i want to warn you that the following program includes content which some viewers may find disturbing so viewer discretion is advised. >> the reason that i've kept my identity concealed is because i would like my son to move on and not be identified or stigmatized with this event for the rest of his life. >> he went by charlie but his legal name is charles richard mozdir iii. we were friends since middle school. he never really fit in with one group.
he was like the lone wolf and he took some pride in that, even as an adult. >> charlie and i met at school. and we got along really well. he is very charismatic. and we just, we bonded over certain things. i'm an artist and he is also very artistic. >> all the ladies in the family he would grab them, take them by the handled and kiss their hand and greet them and be very, very charming. almost like overboard. almost like in a manipulative way. >> we became friends enough to become roommates in college. people that didn't get charlie, they didn't tend to be friends with him usually. but nobody really knew him that well. >> our friend, his roommate, had told me on numerous occasions
how filthy his room was. it was just putrid. it smelled like rotten food and dirty laundry. it was very, very dark. the blinds were always drawn. his door was always shut. he didn't want people in his private space. there was a safe haven there. >> we all felt that he had a secret life. i remember him telling me some stories that seemed very outlandish. >> his conquests in paris, how he made love at the eiffel tower. that he was kicked out of the country. he was asked to leave or told to leave before there was charges pressed upon him. >> i just blew it off and like oh, that's just charlie. when john and i got married, charlie was very helpful in the sense that he wanted to be the
photographer. he wanted to offer any help he could. and he did. he was very helpful in putting it all together. >> charles mozdir did a great job and spent his whole life doing this great job. do you know what his great job was? hiding from everybody what he really was. >> charlie knew everything about us. he knew our deepest secrets. he was like a brother. even when my son was born, he was there. i think in the delivery room. liam and charlie were close like an uncle and a nephew. >> this case is so disturbing because this type of predator is so cunning and uses his charm to make his victim accessible through the victim's own parents. a little bit different than the internet pedophile. this guy ingratiates himself with the family. he is the go-to guy.
he is the guy that everybody trusts. >> liam was sick. he came home with 105 fever from school. my daughter was a newborn. she was only a few weeks old. and i was trying to care for her with little sleep. and also care for liam being very ill. i had spoken with my husband to see if he could come home from work. he is gone all the time in the late spring and summer due to his line of work. and me being in the delicate state that i was, i felt that i really needed someone there that night. >> i actually kind of convinced my wife to call charlie, knowing that he is a night owl. he sheeps in the middle of the day and he is up at night on his computer and he would be more than willing to do. that he is like family to us. that he would do anything for liam.
>> and i felt a little bit strange about it actually, as good a friends as i was with charlie, i felt like i was in such a vulnerable place that i just wasn't, i wasn't sure about the whole idea. but i remember him being very resistant at first. is there somebody else? are you sure? >> he came over and witnessed how sick liam was. >> i hadn't had very much sleep since the baby had been born. i was trying to stay awake and keep an eye on liam to make sure that he was safe. and he wasn't getting too hot. so charlie offered to put a wash cloth on his forehead and sit next to the bed and just monitor his temperature every now and then. and i told him, we'll take shifts. you can keep an eye on him for a little while and then i'll watch over him. he said no, no, you haven't had
any rest since the baby has been born. why don't you go ahead and get rest and i'll look over him. in the morning when i woke up, i felt that we had made it through the night successfully. the morning that charlie left, i thanked him for being a great godfaert and told him how much i appreciated his house and his dedication to our family. that was the last time i saw charlie. >> it's a secret taboo world.
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my son sat me down and he said mom, i have something to tell you. i said what is it? he said i don't know if i should because he promised me i wouldn't say anything. and at that moment, my heart just sunk. he proceeded to tell me that charlie had touched him inappropriately and how he did it. when he finished telling me, i was physically sick. i called his fear and said you need to come home right now. we need to talk. >> even though melissa was in the same bed, not only in the same house or the same room but
in the same king size bed. he pulled back the sheets and proceeded to play with our son's private parts. and he tried to explain to our son that it was normal what he was doing to him. that his parents were going to be upset with him if he told them. but it was normal for friends to do that. that it was normal for him to know about how to masturbate. >> we both listened to the story and we wanted to make sure we weren't accusing one of our best friends of something. so -- horrible.
>> he did the right thing by coming forward right away so he could get the ball rolling as far as our investigation. and not lose the element of time which we always want on our side. >> charlie also asked him, do you know that dogs have big penises? when i told that to the coronado detectives, it raised an eyebrow with them. >> we executed the search warrant. coronado investigators looked at bestiality on his computers. >> what the police found would probably shock the average person, alleged contact with animals, bestiality is a taboo of centuries in society that's even accepted child molestation. no child accepts bestiality. >> it is a secret taboo world that they have to keep from their family members, friends, co-workers, anybody else. the second somebody finds out about it, their whole life turns
upside down. >> he appeared to be shocked. he denied that he had done anything wrong. he continually asked me why he was being arrested and what his charges were. >> you put your greatest treasure, your greatest possession of all time with all kinds of people. anybody could be a pedophile. it could be your grand father. it could be the child's psychologist, it could be the catholic priest, the pedophile, that minister. that child molester could be somebody right in your own house. >> he continually brought up how co-never do something like this to a child. how he loved the victim so much. he would never do something like that to hurt or jemdize his relationship with the family. they love children in the worst way. as an object of desire, an object to use as their sex slave, their toy or whatever, and throw them away.
>> his family reached out to me. they showed up at my house. they tried to get me to come with them to get charlie out of jail and to drop the charges, telling me that i was a horrible friend and a horrible person for doing what i was doing. after much yelling and shouting they finally left. we were at the courthouse. and at that moment the district attorney had called john and was on the phone with him. and i just saw, it was like somebody rimmed john's heart out. he got off the phone. and he just collapsed. he said what's going on? and he said he did it before. he's not the first victim.
>> after receiving the initial crime report, i conducted a search of local data bases here for charles and located a prior allegation where he was also suspected of molesting a child from several years back. >> it was a similar case. charles baby sitting and another young boy who brought the incident to his mother's attention. >> however, after an investigation, there was not enough physical evidence to arrest him or press charges. >> he's like the junkie that can't resist the heroin. it is a crime of opportunity. an arrogance, a compulsion in a cunning that we can't understand. >> at that moment you feel a sense of torture and painful you
know you were so close to this person but you didn't see the signs. i think something broke in john at that moment. and he hasn't trusted people in the same way since. the day of charlie's arraignment, we were all on pins and needles. >> called the sister and said we'll see you in court. >> his family had bailed him out and put a pretty big bail bond so we were all hopeful that he would be there and they could serve him the restraining order. well, he didn't show up. that's when the warrant was issued and they began to look for him. he took all his money, popped in the car and took off. >> he said he would take john out, myself, before he would ever go to prison.
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mozdir was not at the residence. i spoke to charles' roommates and he told me that charles had been there a week before. that he believed it was the day he bailed out and he was very nervous, very anxious. >> he said yeah, charlie grabbed his stuff in a hurry. he said that his friend john is lying and falsely accusing him and that he would kill, or that he would take john out, myself, he would take john out before he would ever go to prison. >> the roommate knew for a fact that charlie had two guns. one registered, one unregistered. and wanted the detectives to know that.
>> several days after charles went missing, mozdir' vehicle was located in georgia. appeared to be abandoned. the license plate had been rimmed off. there was an extra gas tank in the vehicle leading us to believe that he was in a hurry. >> we're thing he drove all the way out there over to mcintosh, georgia, for a period of two or three days. >> it appeared someone had left the vehicle in a state where they didn't want it to be found. >> after ditching his car, he had a few options. the dog bloodhound that picked up his scent leading from the highway and picked it up one more time. the final scent was to u.s. highway 17. from there we're thinking somebody probably picked him up. whether a friend, a family member or an unknown stranger.
one of his last phone call with the friend was i need to take off. i'm probably going to mexico but i might also go to japan. after we found his car in georgia, there has been no new lee. it's been almost cold for two years now. at this point, he's scared, running for his life. that's a worry for anybody in law enforcement. we don't know what he's going to do. if he is an emt, he is trained in search and rescue. i wouldn't be surprised if we got a tip he's been camping in the woods for a long time. living off the land. >> in my opinion, he is a predator. we want charles richard mozdir iii behind bars.
>> i felt it was very important to share our story in hopes that charlie would be brought to justice. this is not an easy choice to make. but it could possibly help somebody else be protected in the future. >> i figured out one thing. one thing in all these years sigs my son was murdered. they're out there, they're evil. until we figure out how to keep them away from children, it is up to you to protect your child and be street smart and follow your gut. >> joined now by john walsh, host of cnn "the hunt." it's fascinating. did you predict this with the police? >> no. i honorly didn't think he would
shoot it out with the cops although he had two guns. the threats that he made with his old roommate that he would circle back and kill the father. that he was furious with the family for turning them in. they had brought the case to the police. and while he was on the run, two years now, that he was going to circle back and kill the father. usually when pedophiles get cornered, they're cowards. they're bullies, manipulators, many times, sociopathic. have no remorse whatsoever. when they get cornered like a rat, sometimes they're very violent. i think the marshals knew he knew they were on the hunt. i think he thought he would not do very well in prison. the show is very popular in prison. those are the guys the prisoners
hate the most. the pedophiles. >> this is a tough question. is it better for the family that he be brought to jail or be killed? >> having sat through many, many trials, having testified state to state and on a federal level about how the criminal justice system is the criminal injustice system, and how very rough it is for child victims, i think this was the place for them tonight go through, sometime years of appeals. sometime those children are brutalized on the witness stand. sometime they're pre interviewed 10 or 12 time before the trial. i think this has given this family number one, to take that brett and say, he's not out there anymore. he is not going to come back and hurt our son or hurt us. and we don't have to go through this long trial. >> have you heard from them? >> no, i haven't. we reached out today to make
sure they knew what went down. and i believe being a victim myself, you give people a little bit of a chance to digest everything that has gone on. >> as we look at the scene, in the press conference today, the picks, the mayor, these officers go through so much. we scrutinize officers so much. but they really do put their live on the line and these officers did. are you going to speak with them. >>? i am. every year except last year i did a show from the police memorial. i was there when they broke ground. when president bush's father was there and when president clinton cut the ribbon. there are over 14,000 names of men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty. and you should see those kids there every year. 70 plus last year.
i don't know how many people have their loved ones to go work every day and wonder if they're going to come back from the job. those are very brave fugitive hunters. thank god he was not lucky enough to kill one of them this happened in coronado, california. 3,000 miles away, he was captured. so many go to big metropolitan areas. they don't have the resources to go as far as anybody thinks. they can hide amongst us. they can take jobs off the books. that's what he did. he took jobs to hide amongst millions of people. >> we'll talk about this the rest of the hour. charles mozdir was tracked down in new york. what happened when he was approached by law enforcement? we'll take you through it.
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run ended today. deborah feyerick has more. how did this all go down? >> reporter: so interesting. you can see the smoke shop hen me. that illuminated sign. earlier today, some frantic moments as these u.s. marshals attempted to execute this arrest warrant and everything went south. the search ends here. the shoot-out at this smoke shop in manhattan's busy west village. >> mozdir fired upon the officers at very close range and toefrss returned fire. >> members of the new york/new jersey task force tracked him to new york following a tip that came from cnn's "the hunt" with john walsh. >> my son sat me down and said, mom, i have something to tell you. and he proceeded to tell me that charlie had touched him inappropriately. >> reporter: mozdir had recently been profiled on the show.
one of the officers went inside and identified him. you can see the smoke shop. it is the white doorway just past the stop sign. >> the detective and two marshals were wounded. charles mozdir was shot dead. >> reporter: police say he had grown a beard and had no intention of being taken quietly. >> a .32 caliber handgun was recovered at the scene. 20 rounds of additional am nilgs were found. >> reporter: alexis lives down the block and took these photos immediately after the shooting. >> what i first noticed was a rather large crowd and then heavily armed officers with helmets on. detectives, ambulance workers. >> reporter: the man whom you saw being wheeled out, you noticed tattoos on his arm. did he look like an officer? >> i didn't get a chance to see. >> reporter: one officer shot in the leg, another injured in the arm. the nypd detective asign to the
task force shot in the abdomen. none of the injuries are thought to be life threatening. >> you can see where the round entered. >> reporter: mozdir was last seen two years ago in san diego after being accused of molesting a friend's 7-year-old son. at the time, police searched his home and found his cell phone with images of child porn and bestiality. his abandoned car was found soon after in georgia. the license plate removed and mozdir seemingly disappeared. now, the tip came from a woman in florida. somebody who appears to have been close to this suspect. we are told that after the shooting, emts tried to resuscitate mozdir. he was put on a gurney. they tried cpr on him. one witness i spoke to a little while ago said he had grown his hair, he had a big bushy beard and he had tattoos up and down his arms and legs. it does not appear any of the efforts by the emt workers were
able to resuscitate him on that gurney and he was taken away. >> john walsh is here. we're going to talk with him as well. i have a question for you. great police sources. police were aware going into this that charles mozdir had been featured on the hunt and was considered armed and dangerous. how did that affect their approach today, deb? >> reporter: absolutely. they were on high alert. i've gone out on some of these stings with them. and they are very, very cautious. they always go in with a very clear head knowing that the suspect that they're after could be armed and could be dangerous. there were reports that in fact mozdir did have guns with him. so they knew that going in. but it appears that as they began walking toward the location, toward the smoke shop, that he got tipped off. he got spooked. that's when he seemed to react. right now, the detectives are looking at the surveillance video from inside the shop from around the neighborhood to see exactly how all of this played
out. mozdir did have a gun or reach for a gun. a .32 caliber. and he began shooting. he began opening fire. we are told that he got off about five rounds. yeah, these guys are professionals. they do this all the time. they don't know what's on the other side. they were aware that this could be a very dangerous situation that they were walking into. >> absolutely. let's talk about the tips. as we were sitting here looking at the beard and you said he ganld weight on purpose? do you believe that? >> they do anything to stay out there. >> i probably would not have recognized him. tell us how these tips work. and these calls go in. >> they always guarantee that people can remain anonymous. i think everybody knows that. cops don't answer the phones on the hunt hotline and they don't monitor the website. so whether you're an illegal, whether you're afraid it is your cousin that's a gang banger that
will kill you, we guarantee they can remain anonymous. just give us the tip. so our hotline operators got two terrific tips a week ago. one involved the dog. we knew he had taken the dog. everybody knew that he had taken a dog and as was mentioned, he had an obsession with dogs and kept a log book of friends and families' dogs that he had performed unnatural acts. on we knew he had a registered gun and he had bought a gun illegally. his roommate tipped the cops off. and coronado pd did a really great job on this, preparing the marshals for the hunt. so they change their appearance so much to try to throw people off. it started a week ago with the 10s focusing on lower manhattan. greenwich village specifically and the marshal does a fantastic job keeping it out of the public eye. not tipping of him off. i think he knew once he was on the hunt, he was toast.
>> before we let deb go i want to ask you. is he suspected of doing anything else since he was here, any other laws? suspected of anything? >> reporter: it's a good question, don. one of the things being investigated, whether he was able to stay under the radar for so long because he was using an alias. there was no record of that. what's so fascinating, this part of the village, a small street. everybody knows each other. the people who own the shops and the people we spoke to. probably about a dozen people said they had never seen mostier in this area before. they had never seen him in the smoke shop. they didn't know where he came from. there is one report that he had been here for the entirety of the two years. a couple things don't make sense including how he sort of knew this woman in florida as well. so yeah, all of that right now is under investigation. >> all right. i want to play something for and you then we'll talk.
>> over those years i learned how to do one thing really well. that's how to catch these [ bleep ] and bring them back to justice. i've become a manhunter. i'm out there looking for bad guys. >> so as we were on earlier, i told you what my friend e-mailed me and said, where is john walsh been? he produces results. why has he not been on television, and you're back. >> i sort of tried to retire. i took a year off. and a lot of urging by the fbi and by the marshals saying, john, you have a great track record. caught almost 1,300 guys. 17 off the fbi's ten most wanted. and your new boss has been a friend of mine for years and said how would you like to saddle back up? and i said my wife is sick of having me around the house. she said you can't sit still. i'll always be the father of a murdered child. sunday was the thesend anniversary of adam's murder. i hate these guys.
some of these cases, i wasn't successle catching these guys. all those years i was on america's most wanted like the guy last week, he's been on the fbi's most wanted. he's been out 38 years. maybe it's time to saddle up. >> it does.feel good to be back? i went through that pain. i waited 27 years to finally get adam's case opened and to get some justice. so it's a great forum and cnn is a great partner. i know how it is with the new boss not getting a vacation. it will be a while before you get another one. we're so happy to have you. when we come back, i want to talk to you about what you told me earlier. you believe this was planned and you were fighting to change the laws. so, your site gave me this "credit report card" thing.
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and back with us also, john walsh who is the host of "the hunt." thank you for joining us. i understand you've spoken to the family. is that correct? >> correct. a few hours ago i did speak to the family. thanks for having me on. >> what was that conversation like? >> i spoke to the mother of the victim. immediately upon talking to her, she had already been on the news and watched some stuff on the news. and she told me, she felt a huge weight lifted off her shoulders. took breath, took a deep breath, a sigh of relief, and was content that she can have some closure in her case, and that in her eyes, that justice was served. >> do you think he's in the right place? >> i do. i'm not a vigilante. not only are they destroyed by the fact that a trusted guy that they brought into their house has molest their child and they had the courage to go forward, but his roommate and this
detective knows it, and we did, too, that the roommate said he had bragged and stated, not bragged, but stated that he was going to come back and kill the father. now, he knew where they lived. he knew the family, he knew everything about them. so you have to look over your shoulder the rest of your life when you're trying to get justice for your child. get your child some therapy. build your life back to what it was but still look over your shoulder every day and say, is this creep going to walk up to us in a grocery store parking lot and blow us away? i mean, this is, i think he's right where he belongs. >> or come into your home at night. you never really know. >> no. >> in the episode that we saw, mozdir was described as an emt that could have been camping, living off the hand. is this why a show like "the hunt" is so important? he was hiding in one of the world's biggest cities. >> correct. we knew he was an emt. he was on ski patrol so he was
very trained in search and rescue. when he went missing and we located several days after he went missing, we located his vehicle in georgia. one of the things that we thought about, is he going to be living off the land and hiding in the woods and living off the land? the case went cold unfortunately back then. and cynic he had those skills, we thought that could be a possibility. he could be living off the hand out there. >> you told me you have fought to change the laws because you believed he had planned all this. >> i'm sure he planned the run. and the detective can verify this, he packed the car up. he had the money, he had gas cans so he wouldn't have to stop. he want to, as most fugitives know, when it is a small pd like coronado, a lot of bad guys know, if you go across koenlt lines, your odds get better. if you go across the country and you a simulate into a big population, the coronado police won't have the resources to look
for you in the rest of the world. >> what are you demanding now when someone is accused of this? >> i worked for years to get it passed. it was signed in the rose garden several years ago and that's for repeat offenders. there are so many of these guys that plan their runs. if we can put the mars rover on mars to send back ice crystal pictures for a cost $44 billion, i think we can keep better track of these guys when they're going to make a run and they're not going -- the marshals say that there are over 100,000 level three convicted sex offenders at large right now that have broken their probation or cut off their ankle bracelets. he didn't have a history. he was accused of molesting a child before. i don't think coronado pd knew that. but there has to be a way to monitor these guys and to make them come back to their trials. >> they can still cut them off but that would help. >> it would hem.
i truly believe you're innocent until proven guilty. but i know one thing. the pedophiles that i've caught over the years, they're smart, cunning, insidious, very hard to rehabilitate them if ever. i think this guy planned to run and law enforcement does not have the resources to monitor these guys and keep track of them. >> you worked this for two years. where were you when you got the news and what did you think? >> today received the news. i was sitting at my desk at work, working on my cases when i received the phone call from the u.s. marshal that i've been working with for the last two years. gave me a call and said, hey, i have some news. he told me basically, mozdir has been found. that three of our own had been hurt. and that charles was now deceased. i want to take this time to please say that our, my thoughts and prayers and the coronado
police department's thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the officers, the nypd detective asign to the task force as well as the marshal that's executed the other two, the other warrant. i wanted to take time to say that our thoughts and prayers are out with them. once i received the news, the calls started coming in from different media sources. >> you had to be happy though that finally, he had been caught. >> there was a sense of closure there for the case. we have been working on this case for over two years now. myself and my counter part over at the marshals. and there was a sense of closure that finally, he was located. we want to thank the cnn's "the hunt" the show. once our law enforcement resources had been exhausted, the public through the show was able to be our most viable resource out there and our eyes
and ears. like you've seen and heard, the anonymous tip that led to the events. >> very important. very important to get those tips coming in. again they remain anonymous. we appreciate you. john, when we come back, you'll tell us what's ahead on "the hunt." oh, no you can't open that. please choose one based on the cover. here we go... woah! no test rides allowed. i can't show you the inside, but... trust me. are you kidding me? at university of phoenix, we think you should try before you buy. that's why we offer many first time students with limited to no college experience a risk free period. so you can commit to your education with confidence. get started at phoenix.edu ♪ you want to save money on car insurance? no problem. you want to save money on rv insurance? no problem. you want to save money on motorcycle insurance?
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of cnn's "the hunt." >> two cases that really drive me crazy, christopher from my home state of florida, three time convict dui, no driver's license, police say he was driving so severely intoxicated that he hit three guys head on and killed one of them and cut his ankle bracelet off. living at home when he shouldn't have home. and david who i profiled before on america's most wanted, shouted out with comes. gun fanatic, white supremacist, really dangerous bad guy. two different guys that are out there. one of them, i think, might be getting help. christopher ponce, 22-year-old, should turn himself in before the show. and david berger, armed and extremely dangerous. leave a tip on the website. do not even think about doing anything yourself. these are two guys that need to these are two guys that need to be off the streets. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
send us your tips to cnn.com. that's it for us tonight. sends us your tips to cnn.com/thehunt. i'm don lemon. cnn international is next. i'm rosemary church. >> we want to welcome our viewers in the u.s. and around the world, coming up for you this hour. fighting has intensified overnig overnight. we'll take a look at the toll this conflict is taking on both sides. we go inside the hamas tunnels israel