Wednesday Apr 08 2009
Man surrenders after holding family hostage
By: Jenifer Gee, Gold Country News Service
Sacramento man 'acting out of fear'
A parolee took his family hostage and was involved in a “lengthy stand off” with law enforcement in Truckee Wednesday night before surrendering. Andrew Jason Rosas was booked at Nevada County Jail on multiple charges after he held his wife and three children hostage on Interstate 80 east of Kingvale. Rosas was reportedly armed with a “sawed off shotgun and was making threats,” according to a news release from the Truckee Area California Highway Patrol. Rosas led police on a high-speed pursuit down Interstate 80 from Sacramento to Truckee, where for most of Wednesday evening he held hostage his wife and three children with a firearm. At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, Rosas released his wife, two stepsons and 10-month-old baby to authorities. They were transported to an undisclosed location. Negotiations with Rosas were continuing on a snowy and cold Wednesday evening as of press time. The stand off closed traffic in both directions on Interstate 80 from late Wednesday afternoon and into the evening. Westbound traffic was closed at Truckee while eastbound traffic was closed at Baxter Road. Rosas was expected to appear in Sacramento County court Thursday on drug charges, but instead fled from his bails bondsman, Rancho Cordova police and Sacramento County District Attorney’s officials Wednesday afternoon, according to Rosas’ bail bondsman Ken Waters. The pursuit ended near the Kingsvale exit off Interstate 80 near Truckee. Waters said earlier in the day his bail bonds company had decided to revoke Rosas’ $70,000 bond when they learned he was planning to leave town. Rosas was at a Sacramento County McDonald’s to meet a relative when he saw law enforcement and sensed his pending arrest, Waters said. “He took off,” Waters said Wednesday evening from the scene of the negotiations in Truckee. Waters said Rosas drove off in his car with his family and a firearm inside. Rosas then led law enforcement officers on a chase approaching speeds of 80 mph, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. R.L. Davis. Waters said his company’s managing agent Crystal Singh, was “instrumental” in convincing Rosas to pull over. Singh said she talked to Rosas for three hours on the phone. She said he called her soon after he left the fast-food restaurant and asked her why he was being followed. “I was telling him that he needed to pull over,” Singh said. “I could hear the children screaming in the car.” She said eventually she could hear things settling inside the vehicle and she proceeded to talk to Rosas. She helped facilitate two-way calls between Rosas and 911 dispatchers and police officers. Singh said Rosas kept saying how he wanted to receive help through a rehabilitation program. “He was talking about how he never gets a break and how he’s never been offered any drug or alcohol program,” Singh recalled. “He was ready for some type of rehabilitation.” Singh said with Rosas’ types of charges, which included narcotics possession, transportation and narcotics for sale charges as well as possessing a firearm, he had spent most of his time answering for his crimes in jail and prison. Singh said she was on the phone with Rosas as tack strips were being thrown out on the road. “They were kind of closing in on him too close and he was getting really uncomfortable,” Singh said. Singh said the last time she spoke with Rosas was at about 6 p.m. when he said he was about to pull over and then his cell phone battery died. “I was telling him when he was freaking out not to make a poor choice,” Singh said. Singh said she thinks there was an underlying reason why Rosas fled the parking lot . She indicated that fighting among extended family members regarding child care may have been one of those reasons, but she wasn’t sure. “I don’t know what would’ve set him off like that,” Singh said. Singh said Rosas’ wife works at the Sacramento Food Bank. Just this Christmas, Singh said she was with the family as they took cooked turkeys to homeless people living in Sacramento camps. She said prior to his arrests, Rosas had a full time construction job. But his prison time coupled with the bad economy made it difficult to find work. In the meantime, he was taking full-time care of his children and his new baby son. Waters said Rosas’ story is a sad one. He described Rosas as a “great” father and said his responsibility as a parent was one of the reasons he decided to provide him bail. “There are good things about this man,” Waters said. “Even though he did something stupid, he was acting out of fear - fear of going to prison for the rest of his life.” Rosas was expected to answer for drug sale related charges in court Thursday, Waters said. Waters said he credits Rancho Cordova law enforcement, the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement officers for helping catch Rosas. “We could not have caught this guy without them,” Waters said. “These guys should be commended.” The Associated Press contributed to this report. Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment online.