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Man Updates Facebook Status During Police Standoff

Man Updates Facebook Status During Police Standoff

Officers approach the area as Ogden City Police respond to a hostage situation at the Western Colony Inn where a man holds a woman hostage, in Ogden, Utah. [AP]

Associated Press

June 22, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jason Valdez is no stranger to Utah police. His latest brush with the law, however, may have been the most public.

An armed Valdez, 36, held a woman hostage at a motel in a tense 16-hour, overnight standoff with SWAT teams, all while finding time to keep his family and friends updated on Facebook, authorities said.

He even got some help from the outside over the social network: A friend posted that a SWAT officer was hiding in the bushes.

“Thank you homie,” Valdez replied. “Good looking out.”

When officers swarmed the room, Valdez shot himself in the chest with a handgun, Ogden police said. On Tuesday, he was in critical condition.

The Associated Press reviewed Valdez’s Facebook profile page on Tuesday. Police believe he wrote the messages during the standoff.

It wasn’t immediately clear, however, whether police were following the posts in real-time, though the department spokeswoman said officers routinely search the Internet and other sources for background on suspects.

In all, Valdez made six posts and added at least a dozen new friends.

His family and friends responded with 100 comments. Some people offered words of support, and others pleaded for him to “do the right thing.”

Court records show Valdez has a criminal history, including convictions for aggravated assault and domestic violence in front of a child.

In March, prosecutors filed felony and misdemeanor drug possession charges against Valdez. A judge issued a warrant for Valdez’s arrest after he missed a June 1 preliminary hearing in the case.

On Friday afternoon, Ogden police tried to serve Valdez with a felony drug warrant for the missed court appearance.

Valdez barricaded himself inside the Western Colony Inn.

“I’m currently in a standoff … kinda ugly, but ready for whatever,” Valdez wrote in his first post at 11:23 p.m. “I love u guyz and if I don’t make it out of here alive that I’m in a better place and u were all great friends.”

Valdez said in posts that he was with a woman named Veronica. Police described her as a hostage.

In his posts, Valdez told friends when police shut off the power that his “hostage” was fine — and with him willingly — and that police are jeopardizing her life by their actions.

At 2:04 a.m., Valdez posted two pictures of himself and the woman.

“Got a cute ‘Hostage’ huh,” Valdez wrote of the photographs.

At 3:48 a.m., one of Valdez’ friends posted that police had a ’gun ner in the bushes stay low." Valdez thanked him in a reply.

The final post was at 7:25 a.m. Saturday: “Well i was lettin this girl go but these dumb bastards made an attempt to come in after i told them not to, so i popped off a couple more shots and now were startin all over again it seems …”

SWAT officers stormed Valdez’s room about 90 minutes later. Police never fired, Ogden Lt. Danielle Croyle said.

Police believe that responses from Valdez’s friend gave him an advantage.

Authorities are now discussing whether some of Valdez’ friends should be arrested and charged with obstruction of justice for hampering a police investigation. “We’re not sure yet how to deal with it,” said Croyle.

“We’re talking about it and trying to figure out how do we address the kind of conflict that it presents,” Croyle said.

Valdez could be facing new charges stemming from his actions during the standoff, including fire his handgun at police, Croyle said.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Authorities are now discussing whether some of Valdez’ friends should be arrested and charged with obstruction of justice for hampering a police investigation. “We’re not sure yet how to deal with it,” said Croyle.

    My opinion they are as guilt as he is in committing this crime due to their "Willing assistance". Put them all under the jail.

  • Picture_100_max50


    about 3 years ago


    This is the type of actions we in law enforcement need to prepare for and expect. I was involved in an operation that flooded a neighborhood in Oakland with over 100 Local, State and Federal officers for a warrant and parole sweep. Within minutes Face Book and Twitter messages were sent to several criminal organizations. The criminals simply left that part of town.

  • Img_0039_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Bump RoboCop... well said...

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Bump RoboCop, and glad their were No Swat Officers shot with their positions being given up by all his dirtbag friends.
    Everyone involved with the FB and giving the POS, Swat's positions should be charged with as much as possible.
    This could have turned out real bad....

  • Jack-sparrow-pirates-of-the-caribbean_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Uh, yeah, the sniveling runt who posted the SWAT positions to his friend should be arrested.

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50


    about 3 years ago


    to anyone that thought he used the computer, and that the power was even an option. All you have to do is look at the picture. It clearly says he uploaded the text using MOBILE WEB, which is wireless.

  • Jack_bauer_max50


    about 3 years ago


    To the ones who said they should cut off the power, your right about that, and also right about the other thing too. I don't think that cutting off the power would prevent him from posting on facebook, I spend 90% of my time on my Iphone when I do just about everybody else with a smart phone does. lol

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50


    about 3 years ago


    too bad it was his chest and not his head.

  • Jack_bauer_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Gump was right, Stupid is as Stupid does...

  • 1979_max50


    about 3 years ago


    What discussion? Damn right they should be charged with aiding and abetting, obstruction of Justice, Endangering an Officer in the line of duty, and every single chicken$hit charge I can think of!
    As for Valdez, you have enough to keep him in prison for life. Attempted murder of a LEO for one! Kidnapping, ex-felon with a firearm, discharging a weapon, endangerment, etc.
    Yeah, I like to stack charges when it is appropriate.

  • 1051193310_l_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Some of your are pointing out what you believe to be errors by the cops on the scene, the media and of course the clown Valdez... I will only make this comment. The biggest mistake was made by Valdez in his shot placement!

  • Greensboroskyline_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Typical thug trying to look cute for his friends on facebook. I agree with cops1521, I hope charges are brought out on him as well. This sick twisted punk is talking about how 'cute' his hostage is, thankfully nothing worse happened to her. Instead of taking your advice and wisdom from facebook, come here and read what people have to say for ya.

  • Edit2_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Cutting the power off is fine, but the suspect has a hostage and he shouldnt be further agitated. If he in fact he did "popped off" a couple of rounds as stated in his 0725 post, entry should have been made and the threat should have been eliminated.

  • Michael_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Bump Tassin_2164, great idea, to bad it won't happen.

  • L_59fe72e99fa891e59f62e6ceb62eca88_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Sounds like he did the right thing for us taxpayers.

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