GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A mother from Grants Pass accused of eluding police as she absconded with her kids during a custody dispute was later tracked down in Las Vegas, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS).
On April 12, police officers visited 33-year-old Tiffany Gallego in an attempt to serve her with a court order. Her 4-year-old son's father had been granted full custody of the child. Instead, GPDPS said that Gallego fled in her vehicle with three of her children in the car, leading officers on a short car chase.
"Officers terminated the pursuit due to the reckless driving behavior of Gallego and the risk of harm to the children and the public," the agency said.
Detectives came to believe that Gallego was trying to leave the state with the 4-year-old child. It took cooperation from a number of agencies between the Rogue Valley and Nevada, but Gallego was eventually located in Las Vegas on May 2.
According to GPDPS, officers took Gallego into custody without incident, finding the 4-year-old in the motel room "safe and sound." The 4-year-old is being returned to his father, and officers found one other of Gallego's children in the room who is now in the care of the Department of Human Services. GPDPS did not mention the third child that was supposedly with Gallego at the outset.
Gallego has been charged with two counts of Custodial Interference 1, three counts of Reckless Endangering, Felony Elude, Reckless Driving, and Interfering with a Police Officer.
"An AMBER Alert was not utilized in this investigation as it did not meet the requirements, as there were no facts to indicate the child was in any danger of harm," the agency said. "Amber Alerts have specific criteria in place to prevent overuse of the system. Detectives utilized several other resources and partner agencies in order to attempt to locate Gallego and ensure the safety for all involved."
GPDPS was aided by the Pacific Northwest Violent Task Force (Medford), Las Vegas Metro Police, Henderson Police, and the Las Vegas Sex Offender Predator Apprehension Team and Vigilant Solutions.
"Grants Pass Department of Public Safety want to express their appreciation to the agencies that assisted in the safe recovery of the child and the apprehension of Gallego," the agency said.
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