FBI: PSP Play Saved Kidnap Victim

Video games often are blamed for causing violent crimes. But in the case of a Tennessee kidnap victim, Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) may have saved his life.

As reported by the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Jose Ignacio Ortega Garcia was kidnapped, beaten and tortured by a pair of men who held him captive in a filthy motel room for nine days.

Garcia, a business owner, was forced to write checks to the men totalling more than $17,000. His kidnappers also made him call his wife and tell her that he had left her for another woman in order to keep her from calling the police.

Charged in the case are Jose Sanchez, 18, and Juan Gonzales, 28. As reported by the Times-Sentinel, it was a video game which finally ended Garcia’s ordeal.

On June 21, Gonzales gave Sanchez a hand-held video game that would prove to be Garcia’s savior…

“Sanchez played the video game virtually all day that day and much of the night,” [according to an FBI report]

Garcia used the distraction as an opportunity to loosen his bindings. When the exhausted gamer fell asleep, Garcia bolted, running from the room to the hotel office, screaming, “They are trying to kill me…”

While the newspaper doesn’t say which handheld system gets credit for saving Garcia, GamePolitics has learned that it is Sony’s PSP. A criminal complaint filed by FBI Agent Buddy Early, Jr. includes the following sentence:

Suspect Sanchez’s thumb print was recovered from a Play Station Portable hand-held video game box recovered from victim Garcia’s car…

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    […] A PSP helped pave the way for a Tennessee kidnap victim to escape his captors. Jose Ignacio Ortega Garcia was kidnapped, beaten and tortured for 9 days by a pair of men who extorted $17,000 from him and forced him to call his wife and let her know he left her for another woman. Luckily for Garcia, one of his kidnappers was an avid gamer who played his PSP obsessively all day and much of the night. Exhausted, the gamer fell asleep giving Garcia his chance to escape. […]

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    Uncle_Dan says:

    I am an awesome hardcore diehard gamer. This just shows how excellent video games are and that they are 100 percent irresistable. So, stop yelling because today video games saved the day. Also, I play games and I don’t go around kidnapping and tormenting people. Suck eggs.


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    BJK says:

    How can you say it has 2 hour battery life finaleve? It depends on the firmware. Mine goes for 10 hours and 15 minutes, whereas my brother’s goes on for 10 hours 45 minutes.

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    finaleve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    thtas impossible, you can’t play the PSP all day and night! It’s only got a 2 hour battery life!


    Aside from that lil humor, I’m glad he’s alright.
    But its also possible that the kid could have gone online and cried for help there, but I guess the FBI doesn’t understand how that works.

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    Zigs says:

    I figured they handed the guy a PSP and he got on the old internet and told the police he was getting his shit worked. I’m not really surprised by the story, since in a lot of home invasions the thing they go for first seems to always be the 360 or PS3.

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    JT Fanboi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’ve got a really good source that says the game was GTA that he played.
    More specifically he was playing the part in the game were you capture illegal aliens and beat them to death with a baseball bat.

    Garcia was just lucky that despite all of Sanchaz’s baseball bat training they never got to that part.

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    Sakimori says:

    I’m with ElectroDruid. When I first saw the headline, I assumed that maybe a thoughtless kidnapper let the kidnap victim use his PSP (to keep him calm/distracted) and the clever victim used it to send out an email calling for help, or maybe to post to some forum where people might know him, or some such thing. Silly us.

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    cullarn ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    you know (i dont mean to take this lightly as it is a very serious matter) but if you were to tell some women i knew you were cheating on them youd be much better off in police custody =p

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    ElectroDruid says:

    Ah, for a second there when I read the headline I thought it’d be some story which paints games in a positive light, perhaps that the victim was the one who had the game and it had helped keep him sane during his ordeal. How naive of me. Of *course* the story was about how games turn people into kidnappers, how silly of me…

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    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Rest assured, it will not be that the game was responsible for the distraction that allowd Garcia to escape. But rather, that Sanchez played it “obssessively” til he “passed out”.

    Sony should expect a lawsuit by certain individuals for causing Sanchez a “sleep disorder”, at the least. Maybe even costing Sanchez and Gonzales their “meal ticket” by allowing Garcia to escape.

    Well, it wouldn’t be a surprise anyway.

    At any rate, it’s amazing how things work out. Basically, Ganzales screwed their plan, all so Sanchez could play a game. The best laid plans of mice and men go awry, this time laid waste by a video game. 😀

    NW2K Software

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