July 14, 2005 11:02 PM by Joe Blackmon
John Walsh and “America’s Most Wanted” will try a new method in New Jersey to find a fugitive accused of killing the son of a Paterson police officer. On Friday, July 15th police will unveil a 14-by-48 foot “wanted” billboard along Route 21 near Dayton Avenue, on the approach to Paterson from Passaic.
The billboard seeks information on the whereabouts of Rashawn Capers, accused of killing the 20-year-old son of Officer Wayne Smith, an 18-year veteran of the Paterson Police Department.
The victim (Dayshawn Smith) died from stab wounds received March 25, 2005. His father, responding to a call about an early-morning fight, arrived on the scene to find his mortally wounded son on the ground.
“America’s Most Wanted,” the long-running crime-fighting show on FOX, broadcast alerts about the case in April. When authorities learned that suspect Capers may be in northern New Jersey, TV host Walsh asked his partners in the billboard industry for help.
Viacom Outdoor donated billboard space that features Capers’ photo and a toll-free number for the public’s tips (1-800-CRIME-TV).
Similar billboards have been installed in Detroit and Phoenix, as part of a new partnership between “America’s Most Wanted” and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). The “wanted” billboard in Detroit was installed on May 9; the suspect was apprehended on May 22.
“Billboards are one more way to empower the public to help police apprehend accused criminals,” said Walsh.