FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 13, 2004
Schumer: Robin Valentin – Accused In 2001 Slaying Of Livery Cab Driver Jose Gutierrez – Returns To Ny To Stand Trial Friday
Formerly one of NYPD's Most Wanted, Valentín will be extradited from Belgium by week's end
Valentin fled to Dominican Republic in 2001 and was caught in Belgium in November
Upon arrival in the US Friday, Valentin will be arraigned, formally charged with murder and held to in jail to stand trial in the Bronx
US Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that Robin Valentín – who was one of the NYPD's Most Wanted Criminals for allegedly murdering José Gutiérrez, an auxiliary police officer in the 44th Precinct in The Bronx, in August 2001 – will arrive in New York to stand trial for murder on Friday. Valentín fled to the Dominican Republic shortly after the killing and was captured in Belgium in November. At Schumer's urging, the US Marshals Service and Interpol had made Valentín's capture one of their highest priorities. Now that he has returned to New York, he will be jailed and tried for murder.
"This is another step forward to bring justice is finally within reach for the members of José Gutiérrez' family, who have suffered so long. We've waited so long for Valentín to be in our hands, and now that he is returning to New York we all look forward to him getting what he deserves in a New York City courtroom,"Schumer said.
José Gutiérrez, 23, was a hardworking young man and drove a livery cab to pay his tuition and expenses at John Jay College, where he was a student. In September 2001, he was supposed to start at the Police Academy. On April 22, 2001, Gutiérrez was driving his cab and accidentally bumped the exhaust pipe of a motorcycle belonging to a group of bikers. Later, the bikers caught up to him and after harassing Gutiérrez and damaging his car, Valentín allegedly stabbed him in the neck and then fled to the Dominican Republic. In August 2002, after Valentín's extradition had been delayed repeatedly, Schumer asked Secretary of State Colin Powell to pressure the Dominican government to arrest and extradite Valentín. In February 2003, Schumer brought the matter directly to the President of the Dominican Republic in a face-to-face meeting in Santo Domingo.
Following that meeting, Schumer got the US Marshals service and Interpol to make this case one if its highest priorities, because it was felt that Valentin had fled the Dominican Republic and was hiding somewhere else in the world.
The NYPD's Fugitive Task Force and the US Marshal's service tracked Valentín to Belgium. After they had conclusive audio and video confirmation that he was there, they and local law enforcement officials took him into custody in November. Valentin will return to New York in the custody of the NYPD on a flight that arrives on Friday. He will be immediately jailed, arraigned, and tried for murder in the Bronx because that is where the murder occurred.
Schumer highlighted the following agencies whose work was integral to Valentín's capture and extradition: the US Marshals Service Investigative Service Division, the US Marshals Service International Investigative Unit, the US Marshals Service New York Office, the US Marshals Service New York Task Force, the New York Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Interpol, and the Bronx County District Attorney's Office.