Veteran Stamford police officer recognizes wanted defendant

STAMFORD — A veteran city police officer sorting through files and mug shots in the department’s evidence room earlier this week made an unexpected discovery.

Sgt. Wayne Scutari stopped on a mug shot of a city man wanted for skipping out on court after being charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl eight years ago. Scutari recognized the man as a cashier at a West Side market.

On Tuesday at about 4 p.m., Scutari and backup officers went to the market and arrested Cesar Oliva, 30, and charged him with failure to appear at court along with first-degree forgery and identity theft, and criminal impersonation. Oliva was held in lieu of a $275,000 court appearance bond.

“This was a really good job by Sgt. Scutari, a veteran police officer going about his business, who has a hunch and follows it up, leading to a very good arrest,” Capt. Richard Conklin said.

Scutari worked this week with Sgt. Jennifer Lynch, who while working as an officer in the department’s Youth Bureau in 2012 conducted the original investigation that ended in Oliva’s arrest, Conklin said.

According to court records, Oliva, then 23, was arrested on August 9, 2012 and was charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child. In December 2012, he was charged with first-degree failure to appear in court.

Police at the time of his arrest in 2012 said he allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl, whose father complained to police that Oliva — who then lived on Lockwood Avenue — was having sex with his daughter.

Conklin said when police went to pick him up at the market, he confessed to skipping out on his charges despite having posted a $50,000 court appearance bond following his arrest.

Police searched Oliva and found some identification documents indicating that he had taken the name Jose Gomez, police said. Police said they also found a stolen credit card on him, as well as a Social Security card in the name of Gomez.

Oliva was arraigned on the charges in Bridgeport on Wednesday.