ST. GEORGE — A Nevada woman was arrested following a series of calls to 911 reporting that she needed a ride home to Las Vegas, the last of which was made as she walked away from officers who had just responded to the call on River Road, telling her to stop calling the emergency number.
On Tuesday officers were dispatched to the area of 1850 S. River Road shortly after 4 a.m., after an individual called 911 and then hung up.
Information relayed to the officers indicated the woman had previously called 911 to ask for help, telling them she had been left stranded in St. George by family members and needed to return to Las Vegas.
Officers arrived in the area where they found the woman who initially identified herself by another name, one in which came back with no information when authorities attempted to verify who they were speaking with, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.
Officers told the woman they could not drive her to Nevada and advised her to find her own ride there.
A short while later the woman again called 911 and when officers responded she said she wanted to report that she was being harassed by law enforcement. The report says the woman then proceeded to give officers various versions of her name and where she was from – none of which was clear to police.
Officers again told the woman she would need to find her own ride to Las Vegas and to not call 911 again unless it was an actual emergency.
The woman told officers she understood, but then reportedly dialed 911 again as she walked away.
As the woman continued down the street the report said she “ran in front of a moving vehicle to try and get a ride,” which is when she was arrested by police.
The suspect “decided” to give officers her real name, Mercedes Burciaga, and a records check revealed the 20-year-old had an active warrant for her arrest.
The warrant was issued when Burciaga failed to appear for a hearing in connection with an incident officers responded to on March 19 involving a two-vehicle crash reported in St. George.
The suspect’s car allegedly struck a vehicle that was stopped at a traffic light, and drove off before officers arrived. One of the passengers in the vehicle that was struck was injured in the crash.
When Berciaga was later located by authorities they learned she was driving without a license when the crash took place and arrested her. The warrant was issued when the suspect failed to appear for a scheduled hearing.
Burciaga was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked into jail on one count of abuse of 911 and providing false information to police, both misdemeanors. She was also booked on the earlier warrant.
Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.
This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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