Phoenix, AZ – On Friday, September 18th, members of the U.S. Marshals Service led Arizona Wanted Violent Offenders Task Force recovered an endangered 2 year old who had been kidnapped last night in Mesa, AZ. Task Force members attempted to contact and arrest Esau Tineo, 39, wanted by Mesa Police department on charges of kidnapping, misconduct involving weapons, aggravated assault and stalking.
On Thursday, September 17th, Ezmeralda Tineo, 2, was forcibly taken from her home in Mesa, AZ by her biological father, Esau Tineo, who does not have any custodial rights to the child. Tineo, who has an extensive, violent criminal history to include burglary, armed robbery, aggravated assault and prior weapons offenses, was reported to be carrying a handgun at the time of the kidnapping. During the kidnapping Tineo drove off from the location dragging the child's mother and grandmother who were attempting to recover the girl.
Mesa Police asked for the assistance of the community in locating Ezmeralda as family members and law enforcement were concerned for the safety of the young child. Tineo's recent behavior was described as erratic and he was known to make threats of violence against law enforcement to include vowing to shoot it out with police if he did not get to see his daughter.
Task Force members tracked Tineo to a house near 59th Avenue and Thomas where he was observed leaving the home with Ezmeralda. An unsuccessful attempt to stop Tineo was made by task force members as he drove around police vehicles, onto the sidewalk, and into oncoming traffic. During this time, Ezmeralda was observed in the vehicle without the use of any safety restraints. Task force members continued following Tineo to 19th Avenue and Southern where contact was made with the fugitive. During their attempt to arrest Tineo, an officer involved shooting took place.
Ezmeralda Tineo, who was uninjured, was quickly recovered from the vehicle and has been safely returned to her family.
The United States Marshal Service, District of Arizona, is coordinating all media inquiries regarding this matter.
The Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force is a U.S. Marshals Service led multi-jurisdictional fugitive apprehension unit responsible for more than 2,166 arrests in the last year. The task force is comprised of 21 agencies bringing together the resources of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate and arrest the community's most violent offenders and sexual predators.