Woman’s Head Shaved, Face Branded ‘Snitch’

Police Say Woman Accused Of Calling Child Services

Junw 22, 2007 PHOENIX — Four people have been arrested in connection with kidnapping, assaulting and using a branding iron to burn the word “snitch” on a Mesa woman’s face, police said.

Investigators said they believe the crime was done in retaliation for reporting one of the men and woman to Child Protective Services in February 2006, which ultimately led to CPS taking away their children.

“If CPS removes a child from the house, there must be some very serious allegations,” said Sgt. Chuck Trapani of the Mesa Police Department. “So the children removed, they’re in CPS custody, and now they’re blaming this person for what they did wrong. ”
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Police said they arrested James H. Standridge, 34, Jackie L. Getz, 26, and Kibbol A. Avila, 33, on suspicion of kidnapping, aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment.

Preston L. Valdez, 21, was charged with one count each of aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment with a no-bond status.

All of the suspects live in the Mesa area.

Police said the victim, a 38-year-old woman, called the Mesa Police Department on June 13 to report the crime.

Officers said an intensive five-day investigation determined that the group worked together to ensure that the woman would be at a certain apartment in Mesa.

When the woman entered the apartment, the group assaulted and held her against her will, detectives said.

The suspects shaved off a portion of the victim’s hair and, using a branding iron, burned the word “snitch” on her face, then blindfolded her, officers said.

Her body was also burned with a propane torch, investigators said.

The woman was then placed in a vehicle and driven to a neighborhood where she was released, detectives said.

A witness noticed the woman stumbling down the street and called police, according to investigators.

A second witness stopped the victim and waited with her near the road until police and paramedics arrived. The woman was transported to a local hospital where she was treated and later released.

Investigators executed a search warrant at the apartment where the crime took place and found evidence of the crime. They were able to track down and arrest all four suspects.

Bond for Standridge and Getz was set at $270,000. Avila’s bond was set at $80,000.

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