A missing cell phone prompted a Ranchitos woman to hold several house guests at knife-point until the phone was returned, according to a man who escaped.
Española Police Department Sgt. Cody Martinez responded at 5:50 a.m., Dec. 29 to a call from on unidentified person who had been texted that his friend Tomas Albor had been held hostage but escaped through a bedroom window from a house behind Big 5.
Martinez met Albor behind Big 5. He said his vehicle was parked in front of the residence on East Jiron Street.
Albor said he was at the home of Julie Wyman and while there Melinda Trujillo said her cell phone was gone and no one was leaving until she got it back. She barricaded the door and brandished a knife.
“Mr. Albor said he was able to help Julio Avila-Perez and Christopher Wyman-Archuleta escape through a window,” Martinez wrote in his report.
Albor told Marintez no one else was being held against their will.
Martinez went to the residence with other officers and through a public address system ordered all occupants of the house to come out.
“Most occupants exited the residence and complied with commands,” he wrote. “They were detained and separated.”
Officers then entered the house and performed a security sweep. They found three more people hiding inside.
Andrea Mascareñas told Martinez that Trujillo had lost her phone and would not let anyone leave. However, she said Trujillo did not have a knife.
Gavin Cata said he was asleep and did not know what was going on.
Arthur Quintana and Johnny Workman said they had just arrived and did not know what was happening.
Wyman said she had been asleep also but did acknowledge Trujillo said she lost her phone the previous evening but was unaware of anyone being held hostage.
Trujillo waived her rights and told Martinez she lost her phone and everyone voluntarily put their phones into a bag until Trujillo’s phone was found.
The bag of phones was found inside the front door. There were three in the bag and Avila-Perez said his was now missing.
There were footprints on a bed indicating where Albor went through the window.
Trujillo was arrested and when searched a small baggy of white powder was found. She told Martinez it was baking soda. A field test performed on the substance was inconclusive and it was sent to the New Mexico Scientific Lab for testy.
Martinez and four officers interviewed six witnesses, four alleged victims and Trujillo over the lost phone turned possible hostage situation.
Trujillo was charged with four counts of false imprisonment and three counts of aggravated assault.