Cops arrest pair in Eagle River after woman slips note to gas station clerk saying she’s been kidnapped

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 14:15

Police arrested two people in Eagle River last week after a woman slipped a note to a gas station attendant saying she’d been kidnapped.

According to police spokeswoman Renee Oistad, the incident began at around 5:41 p.m. on Feb. 6 when an employee at the Chevron station in Peters Creek called police to report a woman came into the store and passed the clerk a note saying she was being kidnapped. Police said the clerk told dispatchers the woman then got into the front passenger seat of a black Dodge Durango that left the area.

Officers arrived in the area and pulled the Durango over in the Eagle Academy Charter School parking lot in Eagle River.

According to police, the vehicle was occupied by four people. Officers pulled the woman in the front passenger seat aside, at which time she told them she had been with the three other people in the vehicle at a home in Palmer. The woman — who police said had a cut on her head — told officer she was accused of stealing by two of the vehicle’s occupants, Edward J. Ortiz, 25, and Samantha A. Tessier, 26, while at the Palmer home. The woman said she denied the accusations and tried to gather her personal items to leave.

Police said the woman told them Ortiz took out a gun, started waving it around and threatened to shoot her. She said Tessier took the gun from Ortiz and also pointed it at her before Ortiz took it back and hit the woman in the head with the weapon.

“The victim stated that after Ortiz and Tessier went through her things, they all began to get along again,” police wrote in a synopsis of the incident. “That’s when another female in the home, who was the driver of the Durango, offered to give the victim a ride back to Anchorage which she accepted.”

Police said the woman willingly got into the vehicle with the other three people and headed toward Anchorage.

While questioning the people in the Durango, police said Ortiz initially gave them a false name. After being told he would be fingerprinted, Ortiz then gave his correct name, which revealed he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

During a search of the vehicle, police said they found a duffel bag containing a handgun, several magazines and drug paraphernalia. According to APD, a records check revealed the gun was reported stolen in Palmer in 2012. The gun was seized as evidence and the Durango was impounded.

Ortiz was arrested on the warrant as well as new charges of second-degree assault, third-degree assault, third-degree misconduct involving a weapon (felon in possession of a firearm) and providing false information.

Tessier was also arrested and charged with third-degree assault and third-degree misconduct involving a weapon (felon in possession of a firearm). The driver of the vehicle was not charged, police said. The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for a cut to the head.

Oistad said Ortiz and Tessier were not charged with kidnapping because the woman apparently got into the vehicle willingly.

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