Customs Agents May Have Let Rape Suspect Flee Country

By David Schultz - WAMU 88.5
|  Monday, Jul 19, 2010  |  Updated 6:01 PM EDT
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Customs Agents May Have Let Rape Suspect Flee Country

Metro Transit Police

Tanveer Fayyaz

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On July 12, Metro Transit Police received a report that a 36-year-old woman had been raped by the driver of a MetroAccess taxi, a transit service for people with disabilities. Police officers said the driver, Tanveer Fayyaz, picked the woman up from an adult day care center in Rockville, Md., and sexually assaulted her.

Metro immediately issued a warrant for Fayyaz's arrest.

Jeff Delinski, the deputy chief of Metro Transit Police, said Metro suspected Fayyaz might be a flight risk. So, on Tuesday morning, he gave a copy of the warrant to Customs and Border Protection agents.

"And on Wednesday evening," Delinski said. "We learned that our suspect may have fled the country."

People with warrants out for their arrest aren't supposed to be able to board international flights. But WAMU has learned that Fayyaz boarded a plane on Wednesday at New York's JFK airport bound for Qatar. Metro believes he's now in Pakistan, his country of origin.

Metro Detective Colin Dorrity said there are several ex-military officers in his unit, and, initially, they wanted to go overseas to apprehend Fayyaz themselves.

"We're a pretty gung-ho and aggressive unit, and we like to work," Dorrity says. "That's what we get paid to do. We like to work." "And in this case, where the case has a lot of merit," he adds, "we want this man to stand trial."

A spokesperson with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency refused to comment on its handling of the Fayyaz case, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2010 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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