Bike Path Rapist Arrest Leads to Questions About Earlier Convictions

Dennis Delano, a Buffalo homicide detective, thinks the police caught the wrong man when they arrested Anthony Capozzi for three sexual assaults in 1985. Delano is convinced that the crimes were committed by the Bike Path Rapist.

Delano doesn't think the rapist was Capozzi, who has a history of mental problems. Delano believes - based on numerous similarities to the Bike Path Rapist's methods - that the attacks were the early work of Altemio Sanchez.

Delano, a cop for 28 years, said, "I would bet my career on it."

These are the facts as Delano sees them:

A 1986 Delaware Park attack near the statue of David was thought to be the Bike Path Rapist's first. Work by Delano and the Bike Path task force recently linked Sanchez to a 1981 rape in the same place. There were two other sexual assaults in the park between 1981 and 1986, both charged to Capozzi. But the site - near the statue - the descriptions of the attacker, the commands he used and a handful of other clues scream: Bike Path Rapist. Not Capozzi.

Whether recently-arrested Sanchez is the Bike Path Rapist remains to be determined. Sanchez denies his guilt. Whether the Bike Path Rapist is Sanchez or someone else, there's reason to wonder whether Capozzi has served 21 years in prison for another man's crimes.

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