ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Sunday, July 30, an Albuquerque mother of four, two weeks away from delivering her fifth child, was dragged on the ground during an online meet up gone wrong.
The mother says they were supposed to meet a man identified as “Joe” on the app “Offer Up.” She chose to meet the man at the Little Caesar’s Pizza near Montano and Coors because there are always a lot of people there.
“I walked up to the car and he had the money in hand and asks to see the cell phone. He grabbed not only the phone but my hand as well. He gripped my hand as hard as he was gripping the phone which is what pulled me along with him,” said the mother.
Witnesses say the man, who was in an orange Mitsubishi Eclipse, hit the gas dragging the woman, and did not let go of her arms. Witnesses also say they saw the woman fall flat onto her stomach.
“He saw that I was pregnant and he saw the kids. This belly is so big, especially when I’m standing, so obviously he had no care in the world though,” said the mother.
The Albuquerque Police Department recommends meeting anyone for an online sale at one of their “Internet Exchange Zones” locations. There are several throughout the metro.
“You can come to any one of these, they’re monitored 24/7 by our surveillance video,” said Celina Espinosa with the Albuquerque Police Department. “If something was to occur we would have immediate, instant evidence of what happened.”
The database stores the video for two weeks. So, if a seller discovers they’ve been given counterfeit money or a buyer discovers what they’ve been sold is defective, the police have a record of who it was.
APD also says if the person you meet begins to harass you or makes you feel unsafe, they can look that up too.
This mother says she wishes she would’ve known about these zones, and says APD should publicize it more.
“Had I known sooner, if it was put out, I would’ve been there. If I had told him to meet me at a police sub station he wouldn’t have gone. It needs to be put out more, somehow, some way on social media or Instagram, all of those,” said the mother.
APD says more information about the “Exchange Zones” is available on their social media and the city’s website.
Luckily, after a night of close observation in the hospital, the mother and her baby are okay.
“As long as the baby was okay. They had to check for bleeding inside and the placenta and everything. Even though it was a long and kind of painful night and I’m still in pain, everything turned out okay,” said the mother.
The man who the woman met was driving an orange Mitsubishi Eclipse and is described as having short, spiky black hair and facial acne.