Fresh from his performance Tuesday at the Wu-Tang Clanrecord release party, police will step up efforts to find fugitive rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, officials said Wednesday (Nov. 22). MTV.com reports the rapper, who fled a California rehabilitation center last month, joined the rest of the group onstage at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom in front of hundreds of stunned fans.See Also:
He left the venue without being arrested, despite the presence of numerous police officers outside the venue.
"I don't think anyone had any information that he was in New York until last night - we thought he was in California," said Ken Holder, bureau chief of narcotics trials for the Queens, New York, district attorney's office, which is prosecuting O.D.B. (born Russell Jones) on a crack-cocaine case.
The search for the rapper, who is wanted in California for his flight from rehab and faces warrants on drug charges in Queens and Brooklyn, has not been a high priority for police, according to Holder.
"I don't know that he's being actively chased. It's not like he's public enemy number one," he explained. But now that authorities know O.D.B. is in New York, they are likely to catch him, said Holder, who passed on the news of the rapper's performance to the police department's warrant squad in Brooklyn.
The warrant squad officer in charge of O.D.B.'s case could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. Los Angeles deputy district attorney Michael O'Gara, who prosecuted the Wu-Tang member for parole violations, said Wednesday that he expected New York police to find the rapper.
"They can't hide him forever," he said.
O.D.B.'s lawyer, Robert L. Shapiro, did not return calls for comment on Wednesday. The rapper had been living at the Impact House rehab center in Pasadena, Calif., after serving six months in county jail for violating his probation by drinking alcohol. Last month, he fled as he was being transported from the center to L.A. Criminal Courthouse.
The rapper's performance Tuesday night at the Clan's release party for their new album, "The W," was the first time he's surfaced since his escape.
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