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For Immediate Release

May 21, 2009 Criminal Investigator Deputy U.S. Marshal
Brian W. Koerbel (216) 276-1033
Cleveland Slasher Arrested by U.S. Marshals Task Force at JFK International Airport
Cleveland, OH – Cuyahoga County Sheriff Robert Reid, Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath and U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott announce the arrest of violent fugitive Osvaldo Ortiz. Today, at approximately 12:15 p.m., Ortiz was apprehended as he de-boarded a plane at JFK International Airport in New York. Deputy U.S. Marshals assigned to the New York / New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, made famous in the current A&E television series Manhunters, acted swiftly on information provided to them this morning by the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in an effort to arrest Ortiz. The Task Force here in Ohio discovered new information that Ortiz was believed to be flying into Pittsburgh, Pa. this afternoon by way of New York. The Task Force was able to confirm this information through sources at the airport and learned that Ortiz boarded a flight that left San Juan, Puerto Rico early this morning.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for Ortiz on April 10, 2008 on charges of attempted murder, aggravated burglary, felonious assault and kidnapping. It is alleged that Ortiz assaulted a female victim by slashing her throat and stabbing her in the back. The only reason that the victim survived the attack was because her children came home and thwarted the onslaught. The case was adopted by the Task Force shortly thereafter and the hunt began. Task Force Officers scoured the city of Cleveland for months in an effort to arrest Ortiz. During the course of the investigation through countless interviews, it had been learned that Ortiz had left the Cleveland area and most likely traveled to Puerto Rico to hide with family members.

In January of 2009, Ortiz slipped back into the Cleveland area and again was involved in a separate incident where he allegedly committed the same act on a second female victim. This time he was charged by Cleveland Police with felonious assault with a knife. Once again the Task Force responded and determined that he again fled back to his native Puerto Rico. Since this incident, the Task Force had been diligently seeking Ortiz and can now rest easy that he is safely in custody.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Robert Reid stated, “This arrest is a clear example of the results of teamwork among our law enforcement partners. This man was wanted for two horrific acts of violence and the diligent work of the Task Force will ensure that he faces these charges in a court of law.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a known fugitive is encouraged to contact the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at: 1-866-4-WANTED. Callers may remain anonymous.

The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in Cuyahoga County is composed of the following federal, state and local agencies: U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Cleveland Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department, Euclid Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Linndale Police Department, Rocky River Police Department, Westlake Police Department, Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Coast Guard.