WI: Wanted Man Caught in NY Subway

Life as a fugitive for a former Madison man who vanished in 2005 ended last month when he was arrested for jumping a subway turnstile in New York City, federal authorities said.

Rachid Zirati, 36, of Chicago, fled in 2005 while being prosecuted in Dane County for second-degree sexual assault and three armed robberies. He also was indicted in U.S. District Court in Madison for the robberies and firearms charges in June 2005, after he disappeared. The indictment was kept under seal until his arrest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Jarosz said Zirati was arrested Dec. 29 after he jumped a subway turnstile, and then identified himself with an alias. He was also carrying a small amount of marijuana, Jarosz said.

In an affidavit, FBI agent Brenda Cotton wrote that Zirati, who called himself Zacharia Malidinr, was identified by fingerprints and a photograph. He appeared in federal court in New York on Jan. 3 and was ordered sent back to Madison for prosecution. Jarosz said he did not know when Zirati would return.

According to a criminal complaint in 2004, Zirati robbed the Pinkus McBride Market, 301 N. Hamilton St., on Oct. 7, 2004; and the Tobacco Outlet Plus, 1113 N. Sherman Ave., on Oct. 9 and Oct. 16, 2004. He posted $19,000 cash bail to get out of jail, but that was forfeited after he failed to show up for court in the robbery and sexual assault cases in March and April 2005.

Zirati was charged in August 2003 with a sexual assault alleged to have occurred earlier that year.

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