NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - A New Bedford man on the run and wanted on child rape charges was arrested while two accompanying minors were recovered in Connecticut on Friday according to a joint statement from the New Bedford Police Department and Bristol County District Attorney’s office.

Leon Mejia-Vincente, 46, fled the New Bedford area on June 8 with a 17-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy after a New Bedford officials were granted a warrant for alleged rape and assault charges, according to the statement.

According to officials, Meija-Vincente was located in Willimantic, Connecticut and was taken into custody at approximately 3:00 p.m. The children with him have since been turned over to child services in Connecticut.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to all of the various law enforcement agencies involved with this situation which could have ended tragically,” said New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveria. “This is an outstanding example of partnership that stresses how critical it is to have community cooperation.”

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox