After receiving a nationwide Amber Alert on Aug. 21 that a young boy had been taken by his mother, Angel Schat, from the Bishop, Calif. area, the child was found alive and well at approximately 8:17 p.m. on that same date. The two officers involved, Sergeant Earl Perry and Deputy Adam Fortier, both with Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, received letters of commendation and meritorious service department ribbons for their actions on Friday, Jan. 2.
A welfare check had been initiated by Sean Singleton, father of the four year old child, on Aug. 21 when Singleton informed Bishop Police Department that Schat may be on the move and trying to leave the state. The residence where the mother and child were believed to be at was checked and looked to be vacant. The Bishop Police immediately distributed a “Be on the Lookout” with all counties in California and neighboring states.
While gathering further details, it was stated that the child may be in danger while in the care of his mother as she was not allowed to take the child out of Inyo County, Calif.
An AMBER Alert was issued for a blue 2001 Chevy Silverado driven by Angel Jacoba Schat which was sent nationwide. Information gathered was that Schat and the child may be headed to Reno/Tahoe International Airport as video showed the vehicle leaving the airport in an unknown direction of travel.
A 9-1-1 call from a private citizen to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch Center had spotted the suspect vehicle traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 95, north of Walker Lake towards Hawthorne.
Perry and Fortier spotted the suspect’s vehicle in the town of Walker Lake and initiated a high risk stop on the vehicle in the Walker Lake Township. Schat was taken into custody and the male child was located unharmed.
A toy plastic gun was also located in the front passenger area of the pickup along with a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Schat was taken into custody and booked on felony kidnapping charge as well as drug charges. The child was returned to his biological father in California. Schat was extradited to California on a felony charge. The local charges were dismissed against Schat by Mineral County District Attorney Sean Rowe, according to a statement given to the Independent-News by former Sheriff Stewart Handte.
In his last official act as sheriff before leaving office on Monday, Jan. 5, Sheriff Stewart Handte presented the letters of commendation and service ribbons to Sergeant Perry and Deputy Fortier and praised their efforts for ending a very tense and dangerous situation without incident. The award ceremony took place at the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. The private citizen, who phoned in the information to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center was contacted to be present as well but never responded back to the request.
“Both officers performed their duties in an exemplary fashion and ended the situation without harm to the juvenile, Ms. Schat or the public,” Handte stated. “There was a very real looking plastic toy gun that Ms. Schat had in her possession and things could have ended quite differently if she had any opportunity to present that toy gun in a threatening manner. Sergeant Perry’s and Deputy Fortier’s training played a vital role in preventing that from happening,” Handte went on to say. “This is part of the profession that makes law enforcement officers do the dangerous job we do…because Sergeant Perry and Deputy Fortier made a “difference” that day, and they should feel proud and honored that they did just that. I most certainly am,” Handte concluded.
The Mineral County Independent-News contacted the Inyo Register in Bishop to get further information regarding further information on Schat. Emails were not returned.