Rendezvous in Guatemala

Rendezvous in Guatemala

Following local announcement, State Department nabs Arlington fugitive in Central America.

Police announced Friday, July 1, that they had captured fugitive Thomas Richard Koucky in Guatemala. Koucky, facing trial for a felony charge of carnal knowledge of a child, had failed to appear at a court hearing on Thursday, June 30.

“I’m here to happily announce an arrest,” said police Capt. Rich Alt at a news conference outside the Arlington Courthouse. “This was a miraculously quick turnaround.” But police said they are still trying to find out if Koucky had other victims in the area, and asked anyone with any knowledge of the man’s actions to contact the department.

The apprehension was the result of cooperation, Alt said, between Arlington police, the U.S. Marshal’s service and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which operates as the police force for American embassies.

Investigation of Koucky, an Arlington resident, began in May, Alt said, when detectives in the department’s Special Victims Unit “learned of ongoing sexual predation” that took place from 2001 to 2003. He was arrested on June 17, and released on $3,000 bail.

Prosecutors in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office opposed the low bail, Alt said. Police believe Koucky flew to Guatemala on June 24, and authorities discovered he was a fugitive when he failed to show up for a June 30 bond hearing. At that point, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

Members of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security contacted Arlington police that day, said Walter Deering, assistant director of the bureau, and BDS officers found Koucky in an apartment building in a town outside Guatemala on the night of June 30.

The case had attracted attention in the Guatemalan media, Deering said. After the State Department arranged an expulsion order with the Guatemalan government, Koucky surrendered to Guatemalan police at 6:50 a.m. Friday. Guatemalan authorities turned him over to U.S. Marshals

“Mr. Koucky walked out of the building,” said Deering. “There was no altercation, no violence. He made no comments.”

He was escorted back into the United States, and turned over to Arlington police by U.S. Marshals.

“This should stand as a shining example of exemplary team work,” said Police Chief Doug Scott.

Police knew Koucky had ties to Guatemala, Alt said, but would not disclose what those ties were. Detectives decided he didn’t intend to return because “he hired an auction company to take everything out of his house and sell it.”

Koucky is a convicted child sex offender in Maryland. The charge of carnal knowledge of a child he is facing in Arlington is a class 4 felony, punishable by two to 10 years in state prison, and a fine of up to $100,000. The investigation is ongoing, and police said additional charges of failure to appear are forthcoming.

“The original announcement was to see if there were more victims,” said Matt Martin, police department spokesman. “We’re still actively looking for that.”

Anyone with information about Koucky should call Det. Jim Stone at 703-228-4245 or their local police department’s non-emergency number. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may submit information through Crime Solvers at 800-673-2777. Callers to Crime Solvers do not have to give their name, do not need to testify in court, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.