Calhoun County sexual abuse suspect captured in Croatia

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Image courtesy of Calhoun County Jail

A Calhoun County man fleeing capture is back in the United States after being arrested at a Croatian border crossing on January 10, according to our newspartners at al.com.

Authorities say that 54-year-old David Pirritano became the subject of investigation last year when a woman in her thirties, Pirritano’s step-daughter, identified him as the father of her 15-year-old child.

“Through DNA testing, we were able to confirm that he was the father of this 15-year-old child.” said Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson.

Authorities say that when Pirritano became aware that he was under investigation, he fled to Germany and spent several months traveling Europe, eventually coming to a Croatian bed-and-breakfast.

U.S. Marshals believe that Pirritano befriended the owner of the bed-and-breakfast and asked him to help him cross the border into Syria to join the rebel forces there.

Authorities say that when the two men came to the border, the owner slipped a note into his passport saying that he believed Pirritano to be a wanted man in the U.S., alerting the border guards.

Pirritano was detained at the border since U.S. officials had obtained a warrant for his arrest in August of 2015 and had alerted Interpol, said Cliff LaBarge, a chief deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service.

During the course of the investigation, authorities discovered that Pirritano’s wife, Tammy Pirritano, was helping him elude capture by sending him money.

David Pirritano is currently being held in Calhoun County Jail on a $100,000 bond on charges of first degree rape.  Tammy Pirritano is free on a $7,500 bond for charges of hindering prosecution.

The FBI is investigating Pirritano’s actions from his time in Europe also.