(CBS Local) — An 18-year-old escaped felon got more than he bargained for after taking a 99-year-old grandmother hostage in her own home. Doris Wasden of Utah not only stood up to the criminal but was reportedly able to secure her own release during a tense standoff with police.
Freddy Alexander Velasquez shot his way into the West Valley City home on Feb. 23 while on the run from police. Granddaughter CJ Montoya and her fiance Jim Gabbard were able to escape the home with the aide of police however, the 99-year-old Wasden was still in bed when Velasquez broke in. “He (Velasquez) stayed inside the home. We considered it a hostage situation at that point,” Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke said, via the Deseret News.
When the 18-year-old allegedly started going through the senior’s possessions, Wasden wasn’t having any of the felon’s nonsense. “She has her 100th birthday party one week from today, and her words to him were, ‘I just had this house cleaned for my party and you are messing it up. You better knock it off!'” Jim Gabbard said. “Grandma is just the toughest person.”
After being held hostage for over seven hours with SWAT teams surrounding the house, Wasden was reportedly able to persuade Velasquez into letting her go around 3:30 a.m. local time. The gunman tried to escape police using the family’s car two hours later but was stopped by officers outside the Utah home. Velasquez was arrested and charged with several crimes including aggravated assault, burglary, kidnapping, and felony discharge of a firearm.
The level-headed grandmother says her kidnapper realized he had made a mistake after seeing how elderly his victim was. “I just got back in bed and he come in again and then he started to talk to me. And I said ‘I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.’ And then he realized I was a very old woman, so he was pretty nice to me after that,” Wasden said, via the Ledger-Enquirer.
The 18-year-old had reportedly been on the run since November after walking away from a Weber County Jail community service crew.