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Crime & Courts

2 arrested in Eagle River after woman slips note to gas station clerk saying she was kidnapped

  • Author: Matt Tunseth
  • Updated: February 11
  • Published February 11

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 Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Renee Oistad, the incident began at around 5:41 p.m. Wednesday, when a gas station employee in Peters Creek told police a woman came into the store and passed the clerk a note saying she was being kidnapped. The clerk told dispatchers the woman then got into a black Dodge Durango.

Officers pulled over the Durango in Eagle River. A female passenger told police she had been with the vehicle’s three other occupants at a home in Palmer. There, she said, Edward J. Ortiz, 25, and Samantha A. Tessier, 26, accused her of stealing. The woman said she denied the accusations and tried to gather her items so she could leave the residence.

The woman told police that Ortiz took out a gun, waved 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.

After Ortiz and Tessier searched her things, the woman said, "they all began to get along again,” police wrote in a summary of the incident. The woman accepted a ride back to Anchorage from the driver of the Durango. Ortiz and Tessier were also in the Durango.

Police said that after they pulled over the vehicle, Ortiz gave them a false name. Once he told them his actual name, police said, they found he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

During a search of the vehicle, officers found a duffel bag containing a handgun, several magazines and drug paraphernalia, police said. 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 outstanding 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 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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