CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) – Police arrested a wanted man Saturday night after he was spotted taking part in a karaoke contest.
Ronald Duby Jr., 43, was featured days earlier as “Fugitive of the Week” on New Hampshire TV, in newspapers and online. U.S. Marshals have been after Duby for failing to register as a sex offender based on a 1995 conviction for sexual assault on a victim under 13.
Karaoke DJ Bernie Del Llano recognized the 43-year-old at a North Chelmsford pub.
“It was surreal. To be honest with you. I was like is this really happening? I didn’t think he’d actually show up!” Del Llano said. “I recognized him immediately.”
The sex offender, wanted for failing to register, had actually messaged Del Llano just days before.
“He contacted me and said ‘Where are you going to be for karaoke? Where are you hosting your shows? I can’t be in New Hampshire. I have to be in Massachusetts,’” Del Llano said. “That gave me the first inclination.”
The amateur detective invited Duby to Saturday’s show – waiting with police on speed dial. Now law enforcement is praising him, a prime example of the power of social media.
“We wouldn’t have made this arrest if it weren’t for this gentleman,” said Chelmsford Police Lt. Edward Smith. “He was astute enough to recognize this person. Basically made things easy for us. All we had to do was show up.”
Duby has been charged as a fugitive from justice and was set to appear Monday in Lowell District Court.
U.S. Marshal David Cargill, Jr. said the “Fugitive of the Week” program has been very successful.
“The fact is that the willingness of the media to spread the word combined with caring people that take notice of these fugitives often leads to their quick arrests,” he said in a statement.