Wednesday, December 12, 2007

TSB In Utah: Fernando Orozco-Trevizo Arrested For Chaining His Girlfriend To An Engine Block And Regularly Assaulting Her In West Valley City

Special Update: The Salt Lake Tribune reports on December 13th that Fernando Orozco-Trevizo has been charged with a second-degree felony for aggravated kidnapping, a third-degree felony for aggravated assault, and a class B misdemeanor after police found his girlfriend bruised after he allegedly beat her and kept her tied up with a chain. Bail has now been set at $100,000.

Update No. 2: Orozco-Trevizo cops plea deal on April 3rd, 2008. More HERE.

Update No. 3: On May 19th, 2008, Orozco-Trevizo was sentenced to five years in prison and immediate deportation from the United States thereafter. More HERE.

And yes, he is an illegal. You're not really surprised, are you?

West Valley City police on Tuesday December 11th, 2007 arrested a man they say kept his girlfriend chained to an engine block inside their home so he could regularly torture and choke her. Full story published December 12th by the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret Morning News, and aired on KSL Channel 5.

Fernando Orozco-Trevizo, 32, was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping, assault, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, an immigration detainer, criminal mischief, and forgery. He is being held without bail.

Police found the woman December 7th locked in an apartment near 3500 South and 2900 West after a neighbor contacted authorities, according to a booking document. The woman told police the man kept her on a 20-foot chain attached to an six-cylinder engine block inside the apartment and regularly beat and choked her. She had scratches on her lower legs from the chain and injuries from being assaulted. She has since been relocated out of the state because Orozco-Trevizo, after being arrested, threatened to come back and "get her" if he was deported.

The chain was long enough for her to reach a bathroom, but she could not leave the room. The door leading into the room had deadbolts on both sides and both were locked. The windows in the room were screwed shut so they couldn't be opened. Additionally, there was no phone in the house.

The story of the woman's "deliverance" itself is quite interesting. Her neighbor, Peter Erkelens, said he called police on her behalf after the woman caught his attention through her back apartment window. Erkelens was returning to his residence at the Granger Trailer Park, 2943 W. Leon Ave., at about 9:30 A.M. December 7th when he noticed the woman frantically waving at him through a first-floor window. She had written "Call 911" on her window, upon which moisture had condensed. Fortunately, he saw it, took it seriously, and offered to break the window to free her. However, she told him she'd just wait for the police. Orozco-Trevizo was at home at the time, but when he found out that police were on their way, he left. He was arrested four days later while working at a construction site at Daybreak in South Jordan.

After he was arrested, Orozco-Trevizo told authorities chaining his girlfriend was "just a game," but said he was concerned the woman was having an affair with a neighbor. But U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) became involved in the case after authorities discovered Orozco-Trevizo is an illegal immigrant who was working construction jobs in South Jordan, West Valley City police Capt. Tom McLachlan said. Orozco-Trevizo had previously been deported from the U.S., he said.

Erkelens said the December 7th incident was the first time he'd observed people in Orozco-Trevizo's apartment, which is part of West Valley City's Mark IV Court Apartments. But other neighbors said they consistently heard Orozco-Trevizo and his girlfriend yelling at each other. A man who identified himself as the apartment complex's manager said he and the owner of the building weren't aware of any problems with Orozco-Trevizo and his girlfriend as tenants.

I wonder if this story might make it easier for State Senator Bill Hickman (R-St. George) to get his proposed immigration bill through the legislature?

Another Update: On January 15th, 2008, KSL Channel 5 reported that Fernando Oroozco-Trevizo had a preliminary hearing scheduled to determine if there was enough evidence to send him to trial, but didn't appear because he was taken to the wrong court. The preliminary hearing has now been rescheduled for late February.

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