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Mix up by Murray Police leads to terrifying traffic stop

Posted at 10:15 PM, Nov 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 00:15:24-05

MURRAY, Utah - An Eagle Mountain woman said she’s filing a complaint with Murray Police after she said an officer mistakenly pulled her over at gun point.

According to a report the woman says she got from the police department, the officer thought she was driving a stolen vehicle, or at least a vehicle with plates from a stolen car.

Crystal Rodriguez said she keeps everything on her Jeep Grand Cherokee current.

“My car has insurance, my car has its plates, everything is up to date,” she said.

When a Murray officer started to follow her from 5300 South in Murray into Salt Lake City around 3:30 a.m. on November 5, she said she knew something was up and that he was following her.

Rodriguez said she pulled into a gas station at the corner of 1700 South and Redwood Road.

“All of a sudden I see a swarm of cops,” she recounted. “They all turn on their lights immediately, and they're pointing a gun towards me.”

She said six officers, some Murray PD and some Utah Highway Patrol, all drew their guns and one of the officers began to yell commands.

“They told me, ‘Throw your keys,’ so I threw them out,” Rodriguez said.

Confused but with no choice but to listen, Rodriguez said she kept her composure and complied the best she could.

She stepped out of her vehicle slowly, with her hands in the air, facing her back to officers.

Rodriguez said she slowly walked backward, not knowing what was going to happen.

“I was freaking out, I was scared,” she said.

She tried to turn around to look at police, but she said they yelled at her not to.

“I’m like, ‘I just want to know what’s going on,’” Rodriguez said. “‘Can somebody tell me why I’m getting pulled over?’”

After backing up slowly and following other orders, Rodriguez said the officer stopped, and told another officer to put his gun down.

That’s when they called her over to explain what was happening.

“He tells me, ‘Oh, it was a misunderstanding, you see,’ and he`s trying to tell me… it kind felt like he chuckled about it,” Rodriguez explained.

But she said she didn’t find the situation funny.

In the police report Rodriguez said she later got from Murray Police, the officer states in the synopsis of the report that, "This is a felony stop of a suspected stolen vehicle."

In felony traffic stops, officers draw their guns.

The report goes on to state, “It was determined during the stop that the plate had been misread. The felony stop was terminated and the situation was explained to the driver.”

Later on the officer states the reason for the mistake.

“I explained to Crystal that when I had run her plate I mistook the ‘W’ for a ‘N.’ I then explained that the plate *****N came back to a stolen vehicle, which was the reason for the type of traffic stop that was performed. I apologized for the misunderstanding. I gathered her information, and again apologized for the misunderstanding.”

Rodriguez said officers didn’t thoroughly explain the situation to her or offer enough of a reason or apology for what happened.

“He was like, ‘Okay well that`s all, that’s it, and then he’s like, ‘I’m sorry.’ And he left,” she said.

She said she plans to file a complaint over how the ordeal was handled.

“I just know that I was really traumatized,” Rodriguez said.

Fox 13 reached out to Murray Police Monday afternoon. A representative said they weren’t able to get information by the end of the business day on Monday, but that they did plan to have more information and the report to release on Tuesday.