To crack the case of a fatal collision on Front Street, Officer Rose Dell zeroed in on a teen who she said had a troubling habit—stealing minivans and flinging open the driver’s door into pedestrians as he drove by.
Police recently arrested that teen and charged him with manslaughter in the Jan. 15, 2011 death of 14-year-old Kyshant Moore Jr., who was struck by a car on Front Street while riding his bike.
At a 2 p.m. press conference on the third floor of police headquarters on Union Avenue, Police Chief Dean Esserman praised Dell and her colleagues for their work in solving the case. About 20 members of Kyshant’s family showed up to mark the closing of the case.
After the press conference, Dell (pictured) shared some of the details of how she helped track down the now 17-year-old teen who police say killed Kyshant.
Dell said she caught the teen by focusing on his tell-tale “modus operandi”—his habit of stealing cars and hitting people with his door.
A member of the police accident reconstruction team, Dell took over the case about a year ago. She solved it by comparing the Jan. 15 crime to other similar crimes, Dell said. She found a teen who had been involved in a number of crimes involving similar vehicles and a similar method of opening the driver’s-side door to hit pedestrians.
“It was a criminal escapade,” she said.
Three days after the deadly hit-and-run, police recovered the stolen minivan involved in the crime three blocks away from the crime scene, Dell said. Eight days after the crime, they arrested the teen—not for the Jan. 15, 2011 hit-and-run, but for a spree of robberies and hitting pedestrians while driving a different mini-van in Fair Haven.
In addition to isolating the modus operandi, Dell interviewed a number of witnesses and “people who had knowledge of the crime,” she said. The case was solved with the help of forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee, who worked with DNA samples taken from the recovered van.
The teen is currently in lock-up on unrelated charges stemming from a recent robbery, Dell said.
Making an arrest in the case after 20 months was the result of a “concerted effort to see it closed,” Dell said.
The victim’s mom, Lakhiya Williams (pictured), had been regularly attending police department meetings for the family members of homicide victims.
“Justice has been served,” Williams said at Tuesday’s press conference.
Tuesday’s was the second police press conference in less than 24 hours to mark the arrest of a months-old fatal crime. Police are making an effort to re-examine cold case murders as well as motor vehicle accidents. At both events, assistant police chiefs delivered a similar message. “If you commit a crime in the city of New Haven, there will be consequences,” said Assistant Chief Luiz Casanova (pictured). “We won’t stop.”
posted by: Curious on September 25, 2012 5:01pm
Not to discredit this police work at all, but justice isn’t served unless the suspect is convicted. There have been a lot of arrests, but where are the convictions?
These cases are not over until the verdict is read, the arrest itself means little without a conviction.
posted by: Charl on September 25, 2012 5:29pm
The police, and especially Officer Dell are to be commended for the investigation and dedication to effort. Sounds like the alleged hit-and-run driver might perhaps be a sociopath. Merely a teenager, and committing various violent crimes. Does not bode well for his future, nor for anyone whose path he crosses throughout his life. Hopefully the alleged criminal will get the serious mental and emotional assistance he needs in order to cease being so wicked.
I had to re-read the quotes in this story. I am perturbed by something in particular: Here is the quote from within the article:
“The victim’s mom, Lakhiya Williams (pictured), had been regularly attending police department meetings for the family members of homicide victims.
‘Justice has been served,’ Williams said at Tuesday’s press conference.”
I truly feel for the Kyshant Moore Jr.‘s family, especially his mother. There is no sense in a young man losing his life in such an awful situation.
But, justice has most certainly not been served. The only thing that has happened is that an individual has been accused of committing the crime. In fact, the alleged perpetrator was not even arrested and imprisoned for this incident. Rather, he was already incarcerated on a separate charge.
I hope my point is clearly elucidated: I praise the police for their diligent investigation, and I am glad that the alleged perp. has been identified. But, what if the state & judge allow the perp. to make a deal and he serves no time for the crime? What if his attorney gets him off on a technicality? What if he is found innocent? What if the actual perp. was the one who led police to this alleged criminal, to avoid prosecution himself?
The most troubling aspect is this: If Lakhiya Williams has been attending police department meetings for family members of homicide victims, what exactly are the city representatives telling the victims’ families? This is very troubling, and I think Ms. Williams premature comment has been inculcated via the regular meetings with the police department.
I pray justice is properly served in this case, and that Kyshant Moore Jr.‘s family may find peace.
Perhaps I am reading too much into the comment. I will not apologize for my paranoia regarding the way the city of New Haven operates, however. The City has rightfully lost any “benefit of the doubt.”
posted by: PH on September 25, 2012 5:32pm
The suspect sounds like a psychopath—stealing cars and opening the doors to slam pedestrians? That is a sick mind.
posted by: robn on September 25, 2012 10:49pm
I’m really glad they caught this guy and hope he can’t hide behind his age to reduce his sentence because he sounds like a psychopath. My heart goes out to the family.
posted by: DingDong on September 26, 2012 7:43am
Congrats to the NHPD for working to crack this case. A homicide with a car is just as much a homicide as any other.
posted by: HhE on September 27, 2012 12:21am
Thank you Officer Dell.
Everyone, please replace “sounds like” and “might be” with “clearly is.” If a person steels cars, and then uses them to deliberately strike people, then it is a fair bet they are without empathy or guilt.
Charl, the meetings the NHI references between families of murder victims and the police are support groups, they in no way compromise operational security. The arrest was apparently effected without the use of informants. Rather DNA, comparing MOs, and witness statements. As far as arresting someone already detained on another charge? The 80/20 rule tells us that 80% of crime is committed by 20% of the criminals, so this ought not come as a surprise.