Dallas Police Could Have Held Rape Suspect

Unredacted affidavit says suspect had arrest warrants in Plano

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas Police Chief David Brown says there was no reason to hold Van Dixson when they interviewed him, but an arrest warrant shows there were warrants out for Dixson and Dallas police did read him his Miranda Rights. DNA links Dixson to several South Dallas sexual assualts. He fled the state and was captured in Louisiana. (Published Thursday, Sep 12, 2013)

    The Dallas Police Department has said numerous times that they had no reason to keep Van Dixson in custody when he was first interviewed by police, however unredacted arrest warrants obtained by NBC 5 indicate he was wanted in Plano.

    Dixson, who is now facing charges in connection with four of nine rapes in South Dallas since June, will soon be extradited back to Dallas following his arrest in Louisiana.

    On Wednesday night, Dallas Chief of Police David Brown held a news conference detailing the chronology of the investigation and interaction with Dixson. Several times, Brown told reporters that they had no reason to hold Dixson.

    "If you don’t have something, to hold him in jail for four days, you’re just spinning your wheels," said Brown.

    Brown said four days were needed because that's how long it would take to expedite DNA results from one of the victims.

    In an unredacted arrest affidavit obtained by NBC 5, it said differently. The document said, "Dixson had two City of Plano traffic warrants out for his arrest" and that "Since it was unclear if Dixson would be placed under arrest for outstanding warrants... (detective's name) read him his Miranda warning at 19:29."

    Plano police confirmed Dixson had two warrants issued on Aug. 16, 2013. He had a ticket for not having a driver's license and a warrant for failing to appear in court. His fees totaled $683.10.

    Dixson was ultimately released after his interview and then fled to Louisiana, where he was later arrested after being formally named a suspect in four sexual assaults.

    The two arrest warrants would have been sufficient to hold Dixson in custody.

    NBC 5 asked Dallas Police for response, Sgt. Warren Mitchell sent this response on Thursday afternoon:

    "On September 4, 2013, Suspect Dixson had two outstanding warrants from Plano PD for No DL and Failure to Appear. Arresting Dixson for these warrants would not have held Dixson in jail long enough for DNA results to be obtained, which takes an average of four days. Therefore, detectives chose not to confirm these warrants."

    When asked to comment Chief Brown sent this message to NBC 5's Ray Villeda late Thursday afternoon:

    "He would have been in an out of jail the same day not long enough for DNA analysis to come in...it was a trade off. Since we didn't have enough to get a warrant to retrieve his DNA, playing nice to get it voluntarily ended up being the right call. Had he not voluntarily given us DNA we would not have broke the case."

     NBC 5's Frank Heinz contributed to this report.