Possible Human Trafficking Victim Found After Tulsa Police Pursuit
TULSA, Oklahoma - Two people were taken into custody after a Tulsa police pursuit early Saturday morning that may have involved human trafficking, according to Tulsa Police. One of them may be a human trafficking victim, police say.
The chase started after a patrol officer tried to pull a black Chevy Suburban over for a traffic violation around 1st and South Victor, according to Tulsa Police Sergeant Steve Stoltz.
Authorities say the male driver took off and led police on a slow-speed pursuit, driving one handed and holding the driver's side door open like he was going to jump. Stoltz said the male driver aimed his vehicle at an officer putting out stop sticks at one point during the pursuit.
"Thankfully the officer happened to move out of the way," he said.
The chase ended when the suspect drove into a yard in the 1700 block of North Columbia. The male driver and female passenger both ran. The man was taken into custody first while police searched for the woman.
"She was actually hiding in some shrubs, and just because she happened to be wearing a white sweater, a K9 officer spotted her," Stoltz said. "He's got eagle eyes, apparently. We walked past her two or three times."
Stoltz said the woman doesn't speak English and told police she'd just arrived in the country from Guatemala.
The man had several felony warrants out for his arrest. He's been identified as 29-year-old Rocky Orozco. Orozco had outstanding drug and weapons charges.
The SUV hadn't been reported stolen, but the tag is registered to a different vehicle, according to police.
When searching the SUV, officers say they found an unloaded revolver and a plastic baggie full of bullets. They found scales but no drugs, Stoltz said.
The sergeant said he knows police pursuits are controversial. In this case, however, they found a wanted felon driving an unregistered vehicle with a gun inside.
"We think there may be a human trafficking angle here too," he said. Police are continuing to investigate that angle, he said.
Orozco was booked on complaints of assault with a deadly weapon, eluding possessing of a firearm by a felon, resisting arrest and traffic violations. His outstanding felony warrants are for possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.