LCSO: Alleged kidnapping attempt reported to lure Liberty County deputies to stolen vehicle

When the 911 system was created in 1968, it was for the sole purpose of giving citizens the opportunity to quickly summon law enforcement assistance in life-threatening and emergency situations.

“From its very inception, authorities have stressed the importance of only using 911 for these types of emergency situations but it would seem that from a frantic and fake 911 call to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office on February 28 that some people still do not grasp the importance of using that emergency number in the proper manner,” said Capt. Ken DeFoor in an emailed statement.

According to DeFoor, a sheriff’s dispatcher received a frantic call on 911 at 8:32 a.m. that morning from Rosemary Martinez Ortiz who said that her 23-year-old daughter-in-law had just been carjacked at gunpoint and kidnapped by the suspect who drove away in the daughter’s white Chevrolet pick-up truck with an unknown license plate number.

The dispatcher immediately broadcast the available information to all patrol deputies as they raced to the reported crime scene in an attempt to apprehend the robbery suspect and rescue the young victim.

Deputy Ben Garcia was assigned as the lead patrol investigator as he relayed his information to other units and to the dispatcher. As is common practice in such emergency situations, the dispatcher shut down all radio traffic except for information on the alleged robbery and kidnapping case.

After spotting a white Chevrolet pick-up truck that matched the description of the wanted vehicle, Garcia conducted a felony traffic stop on the truck. Once he got the male driver out of the truck, he was temporarily detained until it was determined this was not the right truck or occupant. The driver then was released.

Several sheriff units were patrolling the area in search of the correct vehicle before Dep. Garcia was finally able to locate Ortiz and her daughter-in-law at the Valero Gas Station on CR 3550 in the Montibello Subdivision south of Plum Grove.

“Evidently seeing the number of deputies swarming the area in search of the alleged car jacker, Rosemary Ortiz broke down and started apologizing and admitted she had faked the 911 call in order to get deputies to the scene faster and that her daughter-in-law, who was standing with her, was not kidnapped nor was there a suspect with a gun hidden inside of a folded towel,” DeFoor said.

According to DeFoor, as Dep. Garcia continued to interview Ortiz, the true story came out. It appeared that Ortiz and her daughter-in-law are from Houston and the daughter-in-law’s truck was, in fact, stolen from a location in that city. Ortiz said they were not satisfied with the response time of the Houston Police Department so they did not wait for them to arrive and take a report. Instead, Ortiz said her daughter-in-law had left her air pod in the stolen truck and they followed the GPS signal for the air pod to the Liberty County area. When Ortiz arrived in Liberty County, she made the fake 911 call to the Sheriff’s Office to get a deputy to her location quickly.

It was explained to Ortiz that by her reckless actions, she had set in motion a series of events that could have easily gotten someone hurt or tied up the 911 dispatcher when someone who was really in trouble needed help. Dep. Garcia took Rosemary Martinez Ortiz into custody, charging her with the State Jail Felony of False Alarm or Report. She was then booked into the Liberty County Jail.

In addressing this fake 911 call, Sheriff Bobby Rader said, “It is very frustrating and time consuming to chase false information. In this case an innocent person was detained. You cannot imagine the stress and emotions that deputies go through trying to save any person that has been kidnapped or is being held hostage The deputies will be making felony stops and risking their lives to save others. Then it was discovered that the 911 call was a fake. Even though the suspect was arrested, the time took to investigate this case, the time it took to stop a vehicle, the time it took to find the ‘not kidnapped’ person can never be repaid.”

The original case of the stolen truck in Houston will be handled by the Houston Police Department.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I not a fan of the Police but some deputy/officer could’ve been killed in an accident searching for a suspect that didn’t exist.

  2. Way old enough to know better….She deserves the max allowed,the REAL emergency calls she put on hold and potential lives that could have been lost due to her CHOICE of actions,dictates she recieves just punishment.

  3. One time she called the cops on my friend sayin that he had hit his grandson the owner of that stolen truck anyway cops came took my friend to jail an got deported to Mexico she lied to the police and her grandson too everything is getting back to you now!

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