Examiner readers help marshals nab escaped kidnapping suspect

Local,Scott McCabe
Thanks to tips from readers of The Examiner, U.S. marshals arrested a kidnapping suspect Tuesday who had been on the run since he narrowly escaped from police during a standoff three years ago.

The suspect, Derrick Arthur, led authorities on a massive manhunt in December 2005 after he got past police during a shoot-out and ducked into the National Arboretum in Northeast Washington. Arthur was never found, and eventually the trail grew stale, authorities said.

“He may disappear, but then as time goes by, he’s going out a little bit more and reconnecting with people who don’t know that he’s wanted,” said Matt Burke, supervisory inspector with the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force.

When The Examiner featured Arthur as its most wanted fugitive two weeks ago, U.S. marshals immediately received several tips, Burke said.

“This was a direct result from the phone calls that we got,” Burke said. “This is a great example of how the public can get directly involved in making themselves safer in the D.C. area.”

This time, authorities didn’t let Arthur slip away. Members of the task force captured him without incident around 10 a.m. Tuesday in an apartment on the 3200 block of Wheeler Road SE.

The last time authorities had seen Arthur, he was holed up in a Days Inn on the 2700 block of New York Avenue NE. A day earlier, he had abducted a 26-year-old woman at gunpoint, authorities said.

 As officers called in the SWAT unit, Arthur dragged out his victim and yelled at police. He used a remote-control device to start his 2001 silver Infiniti in the parking lot, and jumped behind the wheel. Officers fired at the car and one officer was injured, struck by an errant bullet.

Arthur crashed his car and escaped into the 446-acre complex of forest and gardens of the National Arboretum.

The Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, run by the U.S. Marshals Service, is composed of 28 federal, state and local agencies from Baltimore to Norfolk, Va. The unit has captured more than 19,000 wanted fugitives since its creation in 2004.
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