Haitian police arrest man who left Florida after family was killed

Miami HeraldSeptember 21, 2009 

MIAMI — Haitian National Police have arrested Mesac Damas, 33, who is wanted by police in Naples, Fla., in the death of his wife and five children.

Mario Andresol, the head of the HNP, said Damas was arrested Monday morning in Tabarre, a community near the Port-au-Prince airport.

In a press release posted on its Web site, the Collier County Sheriff's Office confirmed that police in Haiti had arrested a man believed to be Damas.

"The Collier County Sheriff's Office has been in communication with the FBI's legal attaché in the Dominican Republic. CCSO has been informed by that office that the Haitian national police have picked up a subject they believe to be Mesac Damas. This individual is now in Haitian police custody,'' the statement said.

The sheriff's office said it is working through the FBI to confirm the identity of the individual and determine the appropriate international arrangements for detectives to travel to Haiti to interview the man should he be identified as Mesac Damas.

"It is important to note that Mesac Damas has not been charged with a crime relating to the deaths of his family members,'' the release said. "However, today the Collier County Probation Department issued an arrest warrant for him today for violating probation on a January arrest for domestic violence. CCSO detectives are also working with federal officials to apply appropriate international extradition proceedings for the violation of probation warrant.''

Damas was reported to have left for Haiti after his wife and five children were discovered dead at their home in Naples on Saturday. Guerlin Damas, 32, and the children, aged 9 years to 11 months, had been shot. News reports said Mesac Damas's was found at Miami International Airport.

"People think that Haiti is a place that you can just run to and it is not. If we have information, we will act,'' said Andresol, noting that prior to Monday's arrest, HNP has arrested three other wanted fugitives in Haiti.

Haiti's police force has been criticized in years past for being corrupt and inept. But in recent years, the United States, Canada and the United Nations have spent millions on training and equiping the police department.

"We are trying to build a strong police force here,'' Andresol said. ``It is young, but we are working.''

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