SEGUIN, Texas – A duo of Seguin police dispatchers are being applauded after using their experience to stop a kidnapping as it happened.
The initial call to dispatchers came in about 5 p.m. Friday. It was from a frightened woman who was stuck in a car with a man she feared would kill her and himself.
TRAINING PAID OFF
It was a rare moment where years of experience and training paid off. The heroes nabbed the kidnapper and got the victim out of harm’s way.
With one word, telecommunications Officer Jessica Martin knew the woman was in trouble. Even though few details would emerge, the office knew the woman inside the car barreling down the highway was trapped.
“She was very cryptic. That sent me into ‘something’s wrong.’ It took multiple times to get her on the phone. She would hang up and I’d call her back,” Martin said.
Eventually, the officers realized what was happening.
“We could hear that the girl saying the guy she was with wanted to kill himself, and she was scared of him and thought he would kill her, too,” the dispatcher said.
The police department was able to locate the cellphone signal at Guadalupe and Interstate 10, but then the signal was lost.
Supervisor Denera White also sprang into action, getting help from the cell signal provider and eventually the Travis County Sheriff’s Department and the Austin Police Department helicopter to get a location. They pinpointed the victim on Highway 130.
POLICE ZERO IN
“(Highway) 130 is the only road with little to nothing with land all around it,” White said.
White managed to get the frightened woman to text her secretly. The woman was found by the helicopter in a convertible.
“The only thing I could think of to say was, ‘Hang in there. We see you. It’s just a few more seconds,’” White said.
An hour or so after deputies began the race to save the woman, they zeroed in on the car and made the arrest.
“That was the goal. We hung up the phone and we started cheering, and we were like, ‘We did it. We got her.’ Maybe it sounds cheesy, but it was pretty cool,” White said. “That was a win for us.”
“It was a good experience, a good outcome. At the end of the day, I could go home and smile and know we made a difference today,” Martin said.
The dispatchers have a combined experience of 39 years on the 911 desk.
The suspect arrested is 41-year-old Enrique Leiner. He was booked into the Travis County jail on charges of unlawful restraint. Authorities said neither he nor the victim were hurt.