Police captured a fugitive sex offender after Examiner readers saw the man hanging around a private school in Southeast Washington.
Andre Stevenson, 46, had been on the run for more than four years when his profile was featured in Thursday’s edition of The Washington Examiner. Within a span of five minutes, U.S. marshals received a half-dozen calls from people saying Stevenson was standing on the 1200 block of Good Hope Road SE.
“It literally had our lines blinking like a Christmas tree,” Matthew Burke, supervisory inspector with the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, said of the Examiner story. “The callers said he hangs out on that block every day, and they were very familiar with him.”
Across the busy street sits a private school for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old.
While police rushed to the scene, a group of citizens crowded around Stevenson and prevented him from hopping on a Metro bus and getting away.
D.C. police arrived and took Stevenson into custody without incident.
Although police officials do not encourage citizens to make any direct attempt to apprehend a fugitive, Burke called their response “fantastic.”
“The people on Good Hope Road did a great job today working with law enforcement and helping keep their own neighborhoods safe,” Burke said. “They are definitely to be commended for taking it upon themselves to notify the police instead of leaving it for someone else to do.”
Stevenson will be charged as a fugitive in Washington, then likely be removed to Charles County, where he is wanted for failure to register as a sexually violent criminal.
Stevenson was convicted of a sex offense involving a 15-year-old boy in Charles County, but failed to register with authorities in March 2005 and had been on the run ever since.
He had previous arrests in the District on charges of armed robbery and fraud, police said.
Stevenson is the seventh Most Wanted suspect captured with the help of Examiner readers.
The features runs in the Crime & Punishment section each Thursday.