Cops: Game of Battleship Turned Criminal

Police say teen's cellphone-activated GPS saved her from drunken dad
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2014 11:40 AM CST
Cops: Game of Battleship Turned Criminal
A game of Battleship allegedly turned violent.   (Shutterstock)

GPS technology may have saved a Utah teen from major harm after a Battleship game gone wrong. Utah County police say a bunch of 911 calls came in Saturday night, but there was no response on the other end save for the sounds of a female arguing with a man, the Deseret News reports. But the phone's GPS helped cops trace the calls to a trailer near West Mountain, where a 17-year-old girl told them her inebriated dad had pointed a loaded rifle at her after their board game soured, KSL reports. According to the police affidavit cited by the News, police said the "hysterical" teen told them that 68-year-old John Richard Valenzuela had accused her of cheating during their Battleship tourney and damaged the game; when she tried to leave, her dad allegedly dragged her back by her hair and pointed the gun at her.

Although she tried, the girl wasn't able to commandeer her dad's cellphone to call for help, so she furtively used her own cellphone, which isn't even hooked up to a provider, notes KSL. "Most cellphones that are disabled, that don't have an active account, you can still make an emergency call on it," a Utah County police sergeant tells the station. GPS that was activated when she made the calls allowed police to "ping" the phone, the sergeant adds: "We've used that a lot over the years to help find people who are at risk for harm and to track them down." Valenzuela, who the News says was found to have a .113 BAC, is being held in Utah County Jail on charges of unlawful detention, aggravated assault, criminal mischief, intoxication, and interrupting a communication device. (GPS also helped save an abducted Philly woman.)

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