Northeast Tarrant

How the subject of that cheeky Southlake police Facebook post got herself 'un-arrested'

Crystal Ladawn Finley was arrested in Plano, Southlake police say.
Crystal Ladawn Finley was arrested in Plano, Southlake police say.

The viral Facebook post in which Southlake police cheekily taunted a suspected identity thief has led to an arrest in less than a week, the city's Department of Public Safety reported.

But the suspect's unique situation — she's apparently pregnant — has led to her being at large again, according to Plano police.

Crystal Ladawn Finley, 33, was arrested Sunday by Plano Police, authorities said. She was wanted for identity theft in Southlake, police said.

Plano officers were dispatched to an abandoned apartment on Sunday at 3801 14th Street in Plano on a criminal trespass call and as they arrived, a pregnant woman walked out, Southlake police said.

"She immediately told them, 'I don't know what you've been reading on Facebook, but that ain't me,'" Southlake police said.

The officers confirmed that it actually was Finley, arrested her on several outstanding warrants and brought her to the Plano jail, said Plano police spokesman David Tilley.

But her medical condition — she appeared to be in the late stages of pregnancy — prompted officers to take her to the Collin County Jail in hopes that it would be equipped to handle her and her pregnancy, but it wasn't, Tilley said.

So Finley was taken to a hospital in McKinney — where she refused treatment, Tilley said.

"Since she refused treatment, the doctor couldn't confirm that she was indeed pregnant," he said.

"At that point, we were kind of between a rock and a hard place.

Tilley said the Plano DP doesn't have the medical staff necessary to handle a medical emergency and noted "it could become a liability issue for the detention center."

"The decision was made that since she wasn't a violent offender and since she wasn't a flight risk from the DFW area, the decision was made to release her and activate her warrants again," he said.

Tilley said he didn't know whether Finley was aware of and exploited this potential loophole.

"Is it possible? Sure, but it's also possible that she was accurately reporting her medical condition to us," Tilley said.

He added that since her warrants are active again, she could be arrested by another law enforcement agency. Whether she stays in jail depends on the medical resources the arresting police department has and also the county where the arrest occurs.

"She's not the first person to be un-arrested," Tilley said. "I've had to bring non-violent offenders to the hospital for illnesses that turned out to be legitimate. In that instance, we don't have the resources to let an officer sit with them 24 hours a day until they're released, so we un-arrest them. But we do it with the understanding that once they're healthy, they should turn themselves in. If not, you'll end up getting arrested at the most inconvenient time."

The April 24 Facebook post by the Southlake DPS, which included such lines as "Gurl, CALL ME" and "We're letting all of our besties know what you've been up to," was seen more than 3 million times, Southlake police said.

The viral post led to hundreds of tips.

"She'll turn up," Southlake DPS spokesman Brad Utmore said of Finley.

"We've got a new audience on Facebook and our reach is large," he said.

Dearest Crystal Ladawn Finley, What’s been up?! We’ve obvi been looking all over for you! You’ve been laying low...

Posted by Southlake DPS on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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Stephen English: 817-390-7330, @sbenglish74
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