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Black lab's identity proves "Lucky" break in locating sex-crime fugitive

Ambulance at the site where Mozdir shot a police detective and two US marshalls before being killed himself.
Ambulance at the site where Mozdir shot a police detective and two US marshalls before being killed himself.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Thanks to an alert tipster, who was aware of details about fugitive Charles Mozdir’s dog “Lucky,” New York City police were able to track down the sex- whereabouts of the California sex-criminal Monday at the Smoking Culture Shop on West 4th Street where he had been working for about a year. The unnamed informant (who reportedly is not from the City, had contacted authorities after seeing a story about Mozdir, 35, on John Walsh’s new CNN show, “The Hunt” about a week ago. Although the show did not reveal that Mozdir was traveling with a black lab the informant was able to place him in the area.

“The fact that the tipster knew the animal’s name was a critical piece of corraboration,” stated San Diego supervisory deputy US Marshall Steve Jurman. “We are always looking for that little something that made it stand out as more credible. Once we heard the dog’s name, we knew it was the real deal.”

Although police searched his apartment at 621 E. 11th Street, they found nothing of significance, NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said that local residents remembered seeing Mozdir and his dog at the shop. Things turned ugly, however, when he was approached by officers, and opened fire on them, shooting Detective Mario Muniz, 45 in the abdomen and wounding two Fugitive Task Force Marshalls, Ryan Westfield and Patrick Lin, before being killed himself.

Mozdir, a wedding photographer, had been arrested for sexually assaulting a young boy he had been babysitting. According to the feature on “The Hunt,” federal authorities said they later found “evidence of “child pornography and bestiality on his cellphone and computers.”

Following his arrest, Mozdir reportedly posted $250,000 bail, but later missed an arraignment in San Diego Superior Court, and a $1 million bench warrant was issued for Mozdir's arrest in June 2012. Since then the Fugitive Task Force had searched for him in Coronado, Georgia, California and Mexico before finding him in the Greenwich Village neighborhood.