Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Mysterious Charlie Chop-off

Quick Escape

By this time, television cameras had rolled in to capture the incident, noting how the crowd had blocked traffic to the Williamsburg Bridge. Despite continued pleas from police, they would not budge. Rumors ran rampant that the suspect had been seen with a boy, that he had already left the station, and that he had confessed. No one knew what to believe, but they were not willing to let the police off the hook. They shouted and cursed, demanding satisfaction.

Around 4:20 that afternoon, over two hours since Gonzalez had been picked up, he finally made his escape. The people at the front of the mob and several reporters saw a blond man dressed in white pants and a yellow shirt go out to a police car and get into the front seat. Then two police officers followed. One of them was Gonzales, dressed in a uniform that was visibly too large for him. The cap fell below his ears. Nevertheless, no one seemed to notice this. He was "spirited away" in the car, racing toward Brooklyn, and then the crowd realized the deception. They began to scream in anger, but there was not much they could do. Eventually, emotionally spent and feeling impotent, they dispersed and went home. The police removed the barricades and many returned to their own jurisdictions.

Considering the degree of volatility in the largely young crowd, it was a surprise that no one had been injured that day. But they weren't going to forget that the murder of one of their children had not yet been solved.

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