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http://www.wnbc.com/news/4054017/detail.html

Prosecutor Claims Man Killed In Robbery Attempt Was N.J. Rapist



POSTED: 8:22 am EST January 6, 2005
UPDATED: 8:40 am EST January 6, 2005


CAMDEN, N.J. -- A man who was killed while attempting to rob a store last week was responsible for three recent rapes that had spread fear among students and workers in the city's relatively safe downtown area, authorities said Wednesday.

Camden County Prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi said the state police DNA lab confirmed that Antonio Diaz Reyes, 32, was the rapist.

"The DNA results were a perfect match," Sarubbi said at a news conference.

The rapes in November and December were brazen daylight attacks at knifepoint. Investigators decided to check Reyes' DNA against samples taken after the three sexual assaults because the would-be robber used a method similar to the earlier attacks.

Reyes' death was captured on a store surveillance video. Authorities said he entered the Camden City Wireless and Fishing Supply store in East Camden on Friday afternoon and held the store owner's wife at knifepoint.

The owner, Ngoc Le, 28, saw what was happening, grabbed his gun, which was legally registered, and told Reyes he would let him live if he released his wife, atuhorities said. Reyes would not let the 26-year-old woman go and threatened to kill her.

From about four feet away, Le fired the handgun once, hitting Reyes in the head. Reyes died at the scene.

Reyes was the 54th and final homicide victim in a deadly 2004 in a city that was named last by one crime analyst last year as the nation's most dangerous.

Le, who has an address in Philadelphia, will not be charged with any crimes, Sarubbi said.

While authorities said they do not want to encourage vigilante justice, they did speak of his killer as a hero.

"He was placed in the situation and he took the appropriate action," said Camden Police Chief Edwin J. Figueroa.

But he was also unlikely to be eligible for a $30,000 reward offered by a Rutgers University's Camden campus and a local law firm, Sarubbi said, because he did not give a tip that led to the arrest of the rapist.

The sexual assault victims included a student at LEAP Academy Charter High School, a Rutgers student and an employee at a downtown store. the assaults all took place within a few blocks of one another -- and a few miles from where Reyes was killed.

After the assaults, county workers and college students who populate the area during the day were cautioned not to walk alone outdoors. Rutgers-Camden Police Chief Guy Still said it was unclear whether that policy would continue now that the rapes have been solved.

"The solving of this crime begins to heal psychologically the wounds we had here in the downtown area," said Sarubbi, whose office is about two blocks from where the rapes occurred.

Authorities are now trying to determine whether Reyes might have been responsible for some unsolved robberies in Camden.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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19,433 Posts
Hell of a shot. I wonder if I would have taken the chance? Sort of William Tell-like.
 

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One can only imagine what you would do if you found your wife being attacked. I hope I never have to find out, but I think I would have done the same to save my wife.
 
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