Fugitive CA rapist caught after publicized search

AP News
Posted: Oct 31, 2013 10:18 PM
Fugitive CA rapist caught after publicized search

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A paroled rapist who vanished after allegedly cutting off his ankle monitor was booked on suspicion of making dozens of threatening calls to the family of his 80-year-old victim, authorities said Thursday.

Dennis Michael McKenzie, 58, was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats following his arrest Wednesday in Palm Springs, and he remained jailed on a no-bail warrant alleging he violating his parole, said Jodi Miller, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Someone recognized McKenzie on the street after seeing his photo in the media, and a sheriff's SWAT team took him into custody, Miller said.

McKenzie disappeared from a Long Beach halfway house after getting rid of his GPS tracking device Oct. 1, authorities said.

Over the past month, McKenzie made more than 50 threatening and obscene phone calls from the Long Beach area to the victim's family home in the San Bernardino Mountains, Miller said.

Her family discovered the threats, which were "graphic, very harassing," on a voicemail machine last week and alerted sheriff's officials, Miller said.

McKenzie was convicted of raping the woman and sentenced to seven years in prison in 2006, according to state records. He had been found mentally incompetent and committed in 2004, according to court documents.

McKenzie was paroled in 2010 and released to a state hospital, Patino said. McKenzie remained under the supervision of doctors at the facility until March, said Luis Patino, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation.

Long Beach police Sgt. Aaron Eaton said McKenzie had been living in a halfway house since November 2011.

The California Department of State Hospitals cannot confirm whether someone has been a patient because of privacy laws, but the agency has a conditional release program that allows for outpatient treatment for mentally disordered sex offenders.

McKenzie was arrested in August and September for parole violations, Eaton said. Details on those violations weren't available but Miller said McKenzie was jailed for five days for one violation.

According to the state sex offenders' database, McKenzie's likelihood to reoffend was determined to be a low-moderate risk in December 2009 prior to his release.


Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams .