crimesider

Freed hostage complains Texas cops left home a wreck

A bullet-riddled window at the Fort Worth, Texas home where Chong Ward was held captive for more than ten hours before she was freed on December 31, 2013. CBS DFW

NORTH TEXAS - A woman who was held hostage says she feels like she's been victimized twice; first by the murder suspect who kept her captive and then by police who came to help, reports CBS DFW.

Chong Ward was held captive in a Texas home that belongs to her brother in-law who works overseas. Once she was released, she gave the police the go ahead to take the suspect out of the house -- with the assurance that they'd help with any damage that was done.

But months later, the house is still unlivable, reports the station.

On December 31, 2013, CBS DFW cameras captured "scanner chatter" between police officers. The suspect they were talking about on that day was John St. Angelo, a man wanted for killing his estranged wife, Suzanne Parsons, just one day earlier.

 


St. Angelo barricaded himself inside a home with Ward, an acquaintance, on Fort Worth's far north side. After more than ten hours, Ward says she convinced St. Angelo to let her go. That's when she called police.

When they arrived, they reportedly asked her to sign a consent form that would allow them inside her home.

"I said simply, in simple words, if you damage it you going to fix house just like it is. He said yes," Ward told the station. "He even recorded it. You know, so, that's the only way I'm going to sign this one. So, I sign it."

Once the form was signed, police pumped more than 25 tear gas canisters inside the home. Almost every room, including the garage, was hit with a can, reports the station.

St. Angelo was eventually drawn out of the home safely.

But nearly three months later, the house looks just like how police left it. Doors and windows are still missing. Walls are riddled with holes left by tear gas canisters, reports the station.

Ward and her brother in-law, Russell Lamarre, have filed a claim with the city, citing clean up and renovation costs of more than $120,000.

The city recently sent a letter to homeowner Russell Lamarre, denying the claim. They say because they're a government agency they're immune from responsibility, reports the station.

Fort Worth Police and city leaders declined to talk with CBS DFW on camera. They said off-camera that they are protected by sovereign immunity.

John St. Angelo was indicted just last week on five criminal charges including the murder of Suzanne Parsons and the kidnapping of Chong Ward.


  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.