TV Reporter Working Undercover At Texas Hospital Arrested


Thursday, March 29th 2007, 10:32 am
By: News On 6


LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) _ A television reporter who says she was doing an undercover investigation into security at hospital maternity wards was arrested after walking into a nursery with a large bag and asking questions about child abduction security.

The arrest came a few weeks after a baby was snatched from a Lubbock hospital by a woman in hospital scrubs who allegedly hid the newborn in her purse.

Cecelia Lynn Coy-Jones, 33, a reporter for NBC affiliate KCBD-TV in Lubbock, was dressed in a similar way and carrying a large red bag when she entered Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo on Tuesday evening.

Her questions in the nursery area set off ``alarm bells'' with security personnel who confronted her, Amarillo police Sgt. Randy TenBrink said. Coy-Jones then identified herself and told security officers she was trying to see how long it would take for them ``to respond to a suspicious person,'' he said.

It was not clear how long she was in Northwest hospital before she was noticed. Police were called, and Coy-Jones was ordered to leave.

About 20 minutes later, security personnel at nearby Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital notified an off-duty officer that a woman was asking ``odd'' questions about security as she stood near a large nursery window, TenBrink said.

The reporter again identified herself and was arrested on suspicion of attempted aggravated kidnapping, TenBrink said.

Coy-Jones was arraigned on two charges of attempted aggravated kidnapping Wednesday and was released after posting a $10,000 bond. Each second-degree felony charge carries a possible prison term of up to 20 years and a fine up to $10,000.

``We didn't see the humor in this test,'' TenBrink said. ``We don't know that's who she really is, the hospital staff doesn't know that's who she really is.''

Dan Jackson, KCBD general manager, said the station was doing an undercover investigation to see what security measures hospitals and maternity wards were taking after ``recent infant kidnappings in Lubbock by individuals posing as nurses.''

Rayshaun Parson, 21, of Clovis, N.M., was indicted last week on federal kidnapping charges for allegedly taking a baby from Covenant Lakeside Hospital in Lubbock on March 10. The baby was found in Clovis the next day. She has not entered a plea and remains in custody without bond.

Last year, a woman was accused of kidnapping a days-old baby from the mother's home after posing as a nurse and befriending the mom in another Lubbock hospital.