Tulsa, OK Criminal Defense & Family Law Blog

Monday, November 30, 2015

False Imprisonment Charges Result from Student's Calls for Help

When do charges of false imprisonment apply?

A frantic text from a female student to her professor, combined with her cry for help to a Sneads store clerk, resulted in her regaining her freedom. Her former boyfriend, Jia Liu, a 22-year-old from Plano, Texas, is now under arrest on charges of false imprisonment, having allegedly taken the young woman from Tallahassee to Texas against her will.

According to the complaint filed by the Sneads Police Department, Liu is alleged to have flown to Tallahassee from Texas and located his estranged girlfriend who told him that she had obtained an order of protection against him the day before, but that it had not yet been served.

In spite of the order of protection, the two spent much of the weekend together and he picked her up one day from Florida State University where she is a student. She told him that, in spite of her love for him, she wanted to end the relationship, but he said he wanted to talk to her about "fixing" it, and requested that she get into his car. With the understanding that they would talk as he drove her back to her apartment, she did so.

Against her will, however, Liu drove her towards the interstate highway and she became alarmed. She texted a frightened message to one of her professors, pleading with him to call 911 and the professor notified the FSU campus police. The campus police faxed a copy of the existing injunction of protection to the Sneads Police Department, which had already been notified by the store clerk who had reported that the victim was screaming at her to call the police. The clerk was able to describe the car in which the woman had been trapped as a green Toyota Camry.

When Liu was arrested, he admitted that he was aware of the order of protection and that he had refused to take his captive home, but insisted that he intended no harm and stated that he just wanted to talk to the woman where she didn't "have an escape."

In addition to being charged with false imprisonment, Liu was also issued, at the request of campus police, a trespass warning to keep him off the FSU campus. It has been noted by authorities that Liu made no attempt to resist arrest and cooperated fully with police. Both Liu and the former girlfriend are from Taiwan, so his defense may argue that he was unfamiliar with U.S. law at the time of the crime. Nonetheless, authorities also state that the order of protection was issued in response to an incident during which Liu choked the woman in question.

If you have been charged with false imprisonment or a similar crime, it is essential that you have an experienced, aggressive attorney on your side in order to obtain the best possible outcome.

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