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West Valley woman describes weekend hostage experience

WEST VALLEY CITY – A 99-year old West Valley woman is talking about how she helped convince a gunman to let her go and surrender to the police after he reportedly held her hostage for several hours this weekend.

Doris Rucker Wasden says she was asleep when 18-year old Freddy Velasquez shot open her back door to break into her home as he ran away from officers.  Velasquez reportedly started rummaging through the house, looking for pain pills and car keys.  Wasden says, “He got into my jewelry box and he was looking for something, and I said, ‘I’ve already had robbers in the house, so, there isn’t any good stuff in there.’”

Wasden says she was never truly afraid of Velasquez, partly because she was confused when the ordeal first started, and partly because she says she’s seen scarier things in her life.  The more the pair talked, the more Wasden says Velasquez calmed down.  “After he came in here, he started to think about it and he didn’t want to get into any more trouble,” she says.

After several hours, Wasden says Velasquez let her talk to the police on the phone.  “I said, ‘There is a man in the house that we don’t know and I’m all right.’  Then, the policeman said, ‘Then, I want you to come to the front door, now,’” she says, adding, “I moved it enough so I could wiggle it out there and then police pushed the door and helped me out.”

Two hours later, Velasquez surrendered.

Other family members say they have no animosity toward Velasquez, believing he was just a scared kid running from the cops.

Wasden’s 100th birthday party, set for this weekend, is still on schedule.

(Photo Credit: KSL TV)