On Saturday, July 25, 2020, at approximately 10:11 pm., Valdosta Police Officers responded to the 2000 block of West Hill Avenue, after a citizen call 911 to report that someone had stolen her motor vehicle, with her children still inside. As officers were arriving on the scene, another citizen called about another attempt to steal a motor vehicle. Officers observed vehicles following a Hispanic male, later identified as Francisco Flores, as he was running on West Hill Avenue towards Norman Drive. Citizens were yelling at the responding officer that Flores had stolen a car. A patrol officer stopped his vehicle in front of Flores, who tried to physically push him out of the way, while trying to get into the driver’s seat of the patrol vehicle. The officer was able to grab him, causing him and Flores to fall to the ground in the middle of the roadway, injuring the officer’s shoulder. As other officers arrived on the scene to assist in detaining Flores, he physically fought with officers. One officer attempted to control Flores with the use of a conducted electrical weapon, but it did not affect Flores. He continued to fight with several officers while they took him into custody. Flores bit two officers on their hands during the struggle, causing minor injuries to the officers. While being transported to Lowndes County Jail, Flores damaged the patrol vehicle by kicking the windows and striking them with his head.
Through investigation, officers determined that Flores physically pulled a female victim from her vehicle by grabbing her around the head and neck. He then drove off in her vehicle while her three children who are 18, 20, and 24 years of age, were still in the vehicle. Flores wrecked the vehicle while trying to get on I-75. Flores then ran on foot and approached another victim at a gas station, who was pumping gas into her truck while her 7-month-old child was in the backseat. He beat on her truck, causing damage to it while demanding that she give him her truck. When he was not successful in getting her truck, Flores began to run while victims and witnesses chased him until officers were able to stop him.
Flores was transported to Lowndes County Jail and he is being charged with: motor vehicle theft-felony, 4 counts of kidnapping-felony, 2 counts of criminal attempt to commit motor vehicle theft-felony, criminal attempt to commit kidnapping-felony, 3 counts of felony obstruction on a law enforcement officer, interference with government property-felony, criminal trespass vandalism-misdemeanor, and traffic offenses.
“We are appreciative of the assistance of citizens who assisted us in locating this offender. We are also so thankful that no innocent citizens were hurt, and Flores was not successful in kidnapping the 7-month-old. I am proud of our officers’ quick response, and their determination to hold Flores accountable for his actions.” Chief Leslie Manahan.