Saturday, September 06, 2008

[indyweek] Suspects get pass; victims to be deported

by Matt Saldaña
September 3, 2008

Orange County prosecutors have dropped misdemeanor charges against two suspects who allegedly attacked two men—because many of the witnesses and victims are awaiting deportation and can't be found to help build the case.

In June, Yuliant Fernandez and Amilcar Tamayo, drivers for Transportes Tania, a Houston-based transportation company, were arrested in Hillsborough for allegedly assaulting two men who refused to pay an extra $500 in exchange for the release of a passenger. (See "Human smuggling in Orange County," July 16, 2008.)

According to Hillsborough Police Lt. Davis Trimmer, the two men who had arrived to pick up the passenger called police saying they allegedly had been assaulted. Police records show that Fernandez allegedly held a knife to the neck of one of the two men, and slashed his van's tires, while Tamayo and Fernandez pelted the van with rocks.

After reporting the incident to police, the victims later fled the scene. The passenger escaped from Tamayo and Fernandez by leaping out of the Transportes Tania van, according to police reports.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said the assault victims—whose home addresses in Clinton are listed in the police report—have been processed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

[View the entire article at the Independent Weekly.]