The Murieta Police Department gave us this feel good story about a life saved on their Offical Facebook page-
“This is Courtney’s story, actually, it was Courtney’s LIFE. Said in her own words, with her own thoughts and her own emotions. She has shared this on her social media pages and tagged us in her post. Courtney is taking a stand against domestic abuse. She is a fighter and a SURVIVOR.
We as a department not only want to lift Courtney up for her courage and strength, we also want to thank the hand that reached for her and pulled her out of the darkness. Officer J. Nelson has worked for the Murrieta Police Department for over 18 years. During this time, he has worked Patrol, SET, SWAT and the Detective Bureau.
On June 16, 2019, Officer Nelson responded to a patrol call and met Courtney. This is a call that Officer Nelson will never forget, for many reasons. Thankfully, all of his resources lined up perfectly to make this arrest happen so quickly and Courtney did her part for the prosecution.
Many of our officers have dealt with calls and people they will never forget, it’s not always the big arrests that officers are the most proud of. It is seeing their victims come out of the darkness and change their lives for the better.
Although this will be a very long read, we sincerely hope that you will take the time to sit down and read this in its entirety. If you are a victim of Domestic Violence, PLEASE, make an escape plan, like Courtney. Look for the hand reaching out to help. Look for resources, including Safe Alternatives for Everyone. Be a Survivor.
“So a few days ago it was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (or something).
& since I have been meaning to make a post about one particular police officer that helped give me my life back, I figured now would be an appropriate time to post this.
The man you see in this picture standing beside me is Officer J. Nelson of the Murrieta Police Department. If you didn’t already guess, this is the officer that personally & professionally saved my life. This is us outside of the Southwest Superior Courthouse after Kyle accepted a plea deal of 14 years state prison. He wasn’t required to attend, he WANTED to. He wanted to show his support. This is the man that got Kyle away from me & put into jail.
The day this photo was taken was the first day I had seen Officer Nelson since the last day I saw Kyle, the day before he was arrested… & I’d like to (finally) go over that day with you all – for any of you that might be interested or curious.
(To anyone unaware or confused: Kyle is my ex-boyfriend that abused me in all ways imaginable for the year and a half we were together. He forced me to stay with him and even set up surveillance in his room to keep an eye on me. I was able to secretly obtain several videos of him beating me and save them for evidence until I was able to safely get away from him.)
• This is my escape •
The time is nearing. All I know is that I need to either make my escape (& FAST), or just accept my fate and start planning for after my death… prepare all my files and writings and evidence to be discoverable & obtainable for when I am dead; write notes and/or final messages to my loved ones. I just felt ‘it’ coming. ‘It’ being… SOMETHING. But I wasn’t sure exactly what “it” was, yet, or whether “it” was good or bad. Kyle was getting worse and worse & had become less and less concerned about outside individuals witnessing how he actually treated me. He got sloppy. We were living in my van (that we bought off my dad since Kyle got kicked out of his parents’ house back in April). I was dreading such a change at the time, but I realized how much of a blessing in disguise it ultimately was when he no longer had those 4 walls to swallow up any sounds of abuse &/or shield the eyes of the entire world around us. I knew he was bound to do the wrong thing in front of the right people and I was literally just waiting. Preparing. Trying to stay alive as long as I could because I felt it coming… I knew something was going to happen & it was going to happen soon. I braced myself. I prepared myself mentally, emotionally, physically… entirely, in every way I could.
My only objective: Next possible chance you get — TAKE IT. Don’t hesitate, TAKE IT. Take it and DON’T LOOK BACK!
June 15th, 2019, The Residence Inn – Murrieta, CA. We were staying with friends in their hotel room. (it was a newer friend of ours with her mom & her mom’s boyfriend). They were all so nice and down to earth — I was so appreciative of how kind and helpful they all were. They let me take a shower and fed us a nice home cooked meal and offered us a safe place to relax and spend the night. Things ended up taking a turn for the worse and it ended up with Kyle getting extremely hurtful and verbally abusing me in front of everyone and disrespecting this entire family that was helping us out! He was forced to leave and the mom made sure I stayed. She didn’t want me going with him. I felt “safe” for the first time in a long long time.
Morning of June 16th. Kyle calls me. I ignore it. Every other phone in the hotel suite begins ringing one by one. I felt so bad that it was MY boyfriend potentially starting drama & problems and bringing our bullshit into this kind hearted family’s day for no reason. Before I knew it, I heard a quiet knock on the door. I was out on the pullout bed and everyone else in their separate rooms. I didn’t want to have him start waking everyone up so I go to the door and crack it slightly and ask what he wants. Long story short he attacks me verbally and forces his way in and after telling me that he cheated on me, he grabs my face, puts me in a chokehold and throws me to the floor, only the metal frame of the pull out bed broke the fall and both of our weights slammed down on my right arm as it landed on the bed frame. I curl up into a ball trying to shield myself as I had automatically done in situations like that. By this time the family had woken up and ran out to the living room where they saw Kyle standing over me. Tricia , the mom, was LIVID and without thinking she bolted over to Kyle and physically throws him out of the room with superhuman force. They alert security and tell them not to let him back inside because he just forced his way in and assaulted someone. Hotel security calls the police. Kyle books it.
I just remember thinking: “This is it…This is my chance.”
The family saw what a monster he was and I confined in them what has been going on and showed them footage I had and they basically looked me in the eye and said “we are here for you. We will support you. We will make sure you are safe. We will help get him away from you. — is that what you want? Tell us if that is what you are ready to do and we can do this, with you, right here right now we can do this with you.”
I took a second or two to reflect on the options in front of me… I looked back up to them and I said “Let’s do this. I’m ready.”
The next person to enter into my life was the person that responded to the call — Officer J. Nelson of the #MurrietaPD. I was terrified. I was literally shaking and just holding back a typhoon of tears. I could barely speak. But the officer patiently listened. I told him everything. I told him what he did to me that morning and I told him everything he’s been doing to me over the last year and a half. At some point Trisha said “show him the videos.” Officer Nelson learned that I had been collecting evidence of Kyle’s abuse and he intriguingly said “Okay. Yeah. Let’s see ‘em.” Not really knowing what to expect.
I stood there holding my iPad up unable to keep my hands still because I was shaking so hard. I think I even had to have him hold the iPad and I just scrolled to the next video. I showed him the video of Kyle full on punching me in the face while he is on top of me, as I was getting strangled at the same time. Officer Nelson looks to me and back at the screen. All he says is something along the lines of, “This guy is a f*$%ing psychopath.” He immediately tells me his email and instructs me to start sending him over whatever videos I have. He acts like there isn’t a moment to waste as he turns to walk out the door— but, then, he quickly stops, turns back to me and says: “I have a few calls to make. I will be back up here soon – just keep sending those videos and whatever else you might have.” Even though nothing had been done yet, I still couldn’t do anything but thank him… then, he says one more thing before walking out the door:
“He will never hurt you again.”, he says, which uncontrollably made me burst into tears. Tears of relief – Tears of fear – Tears of huge change about to commence.
He comes back up to the room in less than an hour and you can tell he is very satisfied about something.
He says he made some calls and got a judge to sign an Emergency Protective Order, which meant I was officially legally protected from any contact from him. All I had to do was call 911 and he would be arrested on the spot, for if nothing more than violating that order.
However, there were additional arrest worthy issues against him, and Officer Nelson was dedicated to locating and arresting Kyle as soon as possible.
He turns to me and looks at me dead in the eyes and says how he’s dealt with countless, countless domestic violence incidents over his very long lived career as a police officer, but “None of them, quite like this.”
He asks me one final time if I am truly dedicated to having this be over… never taking Kyle back and hence forth never speaking to him ever again & having him get arrested and charged accordingly. He reminds me how I can longer contact him either, and if I am dedicated to following through with that and again I take a second to consider my options, look up and say: “I’m ready.”
He smiles and puts his hand on my shoulder and says: “Congratulations. This is the start of your new life.”
I just bawled my eyes out.
He gives me his phone number & makes sure I stay somewhere safe for now. He promises me that he’ll get Kyle. And not to worry.
I got picked up by my parents and taken home to Elsinore. I received a text from Officer Nelson that night making sure I was okay and somewhere safe. He said he texted Kyle and might have him come into the police department tomorrow where he won’t be expecting to be arrested but once there, will be arrested. That night Kyle sent a screenshot of Officer Nelson’s text to all his friends and told them all that I “ratted him out” or whatever and how horrible of a person I was. He ended up replying back to Officer Nelson a huge bullshit story – one that he luckily could see right through. Kyle, however, agreed to meet with him in the morning at the Murrieta Police Department. He congratulates again me on how strong I was today and to get some rest. I thank him again, and proceed to get some rest.
That night, I awoke to Kyle’s voice from outside my trailer. He was talking to my dad and my dad was telling him to go away and get out of here and to never come back or he’s calling the police. I remembered there was my suitcase of all my clothes still in the van and I knew it might be the last chance to get it, knowing what could happen tomorrow. I swung the door open and say, “I need my suitcase.” Kyle is standing there, crying. He points to the left and there is my suitcase and other belongings sitting outside my trailer. I knew in my heart this would be the last moment I would ever get with Kyle before everything changed. I walked over to him, looked at his tear soaked depressed face and I gave him one last hug. I kissed him on the cheek and whispered to him “I’m sorry.” Before turning around and running back inside. I knew he was going to be arrested for all this and locked up. Was I sorry it had to come to this? Yeah. Was I sorry that I ultimately did it? No. He had put that on himself.
Anyway, my dad told him to leave and Kyle did what he was told. I went back in and immediately texted Officer Nelson on what just happened. I made sure to lock all the doors and windows and went back to sleep.
I awoke to several different messages from Kyle and a lot of missed calls. I screenshot all of it and updated Officer Nelson on what he had been saying to me. I soon get a call from Officer Nelson asking if he had said anything else or if I might know where he was because he did not show up for their arranged meet and was not answering any of his calls or texts. I told him I would go on and check his last recent location and activity and get back to him. I had Kyle’s Google logged in on my iPad and was able to see his whereabouts and web activity in close to real-time. I had strategically used such a thing throughout our relationship to see where he was and how far away he happened to be so I could know just about how much time I could continue to safely work on whatever planning I could before he got close. I had a pdf restraining order I had been filling out slowly over the last year, doing whatever I could whenever I had the chance. It took me that long to be almost finished with it — a freaking year. Anyways, having the ability to monitor Kyle’s movements was one of the only things that could give me peace of mind. If I didn’t know where he was or when he was nearby I wouldn’t have been able to keep as calm as I could or get through planning my escape without such peace of mind that I had some sort of privacy for whatever amount of time. & I could’ve cared less about “invading his privacy” – I was trying to save my own life. Which it ultimately did.
I went on Kyle’s google and go see where his last location had been. & immediately, my heart sank down to my knees, & I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
I called Officer Nelson back. “He’s right across the street from me.” He was at the high school that I live across the street from. It was summer so school wasn’t in session. He was in a location in which I could instantly tell he was waiting and watching for my moms car to leave to go to work so he’d know at that point I was alone. Looking back, it showed that he had staked out all around my house the entire night. This is where I used my skillful intuition that I had been training myself for. I thought to myself, “this was the moment I was preparing for.”
Officer Nelson tells me to update him if he changes location and hangs up the phone. I’m frantically refreshing the page for any updates. I step outside to have a cigarette and to keep watch. Next thing I know, there is a helicopter above me as it repeatedly circles my parent’s entire RV park as well as the school across the street and anything else surrounding my location. I just looked up… in awe amazement. Then, I see a police car drive into my complex. I felt so protected. I was nearly in tears. “Did you send a helicopter? There’s one circling my park.” — “Yes I did.” Officer Nelson replies. I said “Wow, that’s really really cool of you.” And he says “Told you we will find him. Just sit tight.”
His location changed and I made sure to update Officer Nelson for any changes as I saw them. A man drove by my trailer and then back the other way and stopped. He says, “Are you the one talking to the Murrieta guys…?” I say, “…yeah…” – he replies back “Well, I just wanna let you know I’m looking for him too, my name is Officer Zeltner. Just hang tight and let us know if he moves location.” I thanked him before he drove away and eventually refreshed my screen. Kyle was now in my park. I rush inside and hide in the bathroom while I continue being intel to these officers. They report seeing him on a bike. I knew exactly what the bike looked like and described it as best I could for them. Moments felt like hours. & Just as things are not looking good or promising, I get a text that read: “They got him.” Officer Nelson, per my request, made sure that they release the van to me and not impound it. So I went to go pick up the van. It was not far from where I live. By the time I got there Kyle had been taken away by Officer Nelson and on the way to Murrieta Police Department. The only one waiting behind was Officer Zeltner to make sure I got the car safely. He pointed out the binoculars that were sitting on top of the drivers side of the car. He said they were on top of the car the whole time, even while he was driving. I was horrified. He had been watching me…
When I got back home I texted Officer Nelson thanking him and everyone else involved in getting him arrested and making sure I was safe and protected. He responded with incredibly kind words and I just cried. This officer kept his promise and that really WAS the start of my new life. A life of freedom & liberty & hopefulness.
Officer Nelson and I spoke here and there through text and email following Kyle’s arrest, but we did not see each other again until the day this photo was taken. He came to court and I was so ecstatic to see him. I gave him a big hug and couldn’t help to tear up as I thanked him one more time. I’m even tearing up right now just typing all this. Because I am so eternally grateful for the care and compassion and dedication this man put into his work to save my life from any more abuse and ultimately, from being killed.
I sincerely thank Officer Nelson, Officer Zeltner, & all the other Murrieta, Temecula & Lake Elsinore officers involved in getting Kyle away from me and placed where he belongs for the next decade or more. You are all true heroes in my eyes. & I will be grateful until the day I die, for all that these officers have done to give me the start of my “new life.”
Thank you to anyone that took the time to read my post.
Thank you all.”