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'Pantless Rapist' is returned from Mexico

Fugitive Alberto Issac Navarrete Suarez allegedly raped a woman in Center City and a teen in Pittsburgh.

Alberto Suarez. (Photo from Philadelphia Police Department)
Alberto Suarez. (Photo from Philadelphia Police Department)Read more

THE SO-CALLED Pantless Rapist - a fugitive wanted in two 2010 rapes, including one just across the street from Philadelphia police headquarters - has been returned to Philly to face criminal charges, the FBI and Philadelphia police said yesterday.

Alberto Issac Navarrete Suarez, 37, was wanted for allegedly raping, beating and choking a 22-year-old woman Aug. 29, 2010, as she waited at a bus stop outside police headquarters at 8th and Race streets. He also was wanted in the alleged March 21, 2010, kidnapping, rape and robbery of a teenage girl in Pittsburgh.

In Philly, the attacker was dubbed the "Pantless Rapist," because he fled his bus-stop attack without his pants when he heard the approaching sirens of police summoned by a witness who called 9-1-1. Surveillance cameras captured his flight: In the clearest video, a man sprints away barefoot, in white, fitted boxer briefs and a black shirt with white sleeves, heading toward 10th and Spring streets.

Philadelphia police identified Suarez, a Mexican national, as the suspect within a week of the bus-stop assault because he'd left a camera there. Investigators examined the people and places pictured and traced them to a South Philadelphia address, where residents helped police identify Suarez, said Lt. Anthony McFadden of the Special Victims Unit.

Investigators soon discovered a DNA match between the Philly and Pittsburgh attacks and realized they had a serial rapist, McFadden said.

Suarez then hopscotched from Philly to Virginia to Texas to Mexico to elude arrest, McFadden said. After Philly police found him living with relatives in Mexico, authorities there arrested him in April 2012, and he had remained jailed since then in Mexico City, awaiting extradition.

Monday night, members of the Philadelphia FBI's Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force brought him back to Philly.

Besides being charged with rape and related offenses in both cities, federal authorities have charged him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

"While it [the extradition process] seems like a long time . . . the system and the judicial process [in Mexico] takes much, much longer," FBI Agent in Charge Edward Hanko said.

Suarez had used a fake identification card with an alias, Dario Gomez Lopez, to enter the United States, McFadden said.

Suarez spent four to five months in Philly, so investigators ran his DNA against other unsolved sexual assaults here but found no matches, McFadden said.

"We got a violent predator off the street, one who hopefully will not be able to victimize any other women across this country, or even in Mexico, for that matter," Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said at a news conference yesterday.