A former Lakeview man who skipped town almost 30 years ago a day before a Nassau County jury found him guilty of first-degree rape and sexual abuse was found by police earlier this month living under a different name in a New Jersey hotel room.
Rudy Carter, 64, of Roselle, N.J., who police said took his mother's surname and identified himself as Rudy Ewin, was arrested in an Elizabeth, N.J., hotel room by detectives from the Nassau County Police Department's Fugitive Squad, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office, Nassau police said.
Carter, who has had an arrest warrant pending since April 1981, is due to appear before Nassau County Court Judge George Peck Friday in connection with his sentencing. His attorney could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Out on $1,000 bail when he fled as the jury deliberated on April 6, 1981, Carter was initially charged with the crimes on Aug. 9, 1979.
Police said the attack occurred at the woman's Lakeview home and that Carter may have used a gun to subdue the woman. He faces 15 to 25 years in prison for the first-degree rape.
To Det. Sgt. Salvatore Scalone, whose squad began tackling the matter in February, the cold case is one of justice delayed - but not denied.
"This is huge," Scalone said, referring to the case as one of 84,000 open warrants his squad currently handles. As many as 2,600 are felonies and 26,000 misdemeanors, the rest being violations.
He said Carter admitted to a role in the crime when he was initially apprehended, saying he and the woman had been in her bedroom and that they were both drunk.
Scalone, who participated in this month's arrest, said tracking Carter down showed the power of technology as a crime-fighting tool. Detectives traced Carter by plugging his Social Security number into a database not available until several years ago. "It's like DNA," he said. "You can solve a case that's 30 years old using technology."
Scalone said the fugitive squad began searching for Carter again in February, after Investigator William Walsh of Rice's office used the Social Security number and Department of Motor Vehicle records while conducting surveillance of Carter as part of an unrelated investigation.
The experiment got two hits, Scalone said, addresses of people in New Jersey and in South Carolina, but with a different name than the defendant. Detectives went to the New Jersey address but did not find Carter there, Scalone said.
They believe Carter learned they were searching for him and then began living in hotels. But marshals tapped cell phone towers that zeroed in on the hotel from which several calls linked to Carter were being placed, Scalone said.
Carter was arrested there on March 4. He was held at the Union County jail in New Jersey until recently, when he was brought to the Nassau jail.
Said Rice, "Let this be a lesson to criminals everywhere - you can run but you can't hide."