Alarm mix-up leads to Child Protective Services report on single mom

February 8, 2012 4:30:53 PM PST
A mix-up with an alarm company has led to a Webster woman getting paid a visit by Child Protective Services. The officers -- who were mistakenly sent to her home -- are the ones who called CPS.

It all began with a burglar alarm that went off at a business on Travis Street in downtown Houston. The mistake sent police all the way in Webster to a home on a different Travis Street with the same address.

That single mom says a minor alarm mistake has turned into a major issue for her family. But police in Webster say they were just concerned for her children's safety.

Natalie Ruiz says her problems started with a loud bang at her back door late last Tuesday. That's when several Webster police officers told her they were responding to a burglar alarm at her home on Travis. Ruiz says the officers had the wrong place.

"I don't have the ADT system here at my house," she explained.

The single mom says she knew something had to be wrong. She claims she was too hesitant to open the door as police ordered.

Ruiz said, "I just exercised my civil rights and I told the officer that I wouldn't open my door."

Ruiz says she showed the officers her ID through a closed door window, telling them repeatedly they had the wrong house. It turns out they did and Webster police eventually left.

We learned the alarm was meant for a business in downtown Houston with the same street name and number as Ruiz's home. But the single mom's problems were far from over. She found out Webster police reported her to Child Protective Services.

"They explained that the officers reported I was intoxicated," Ruiz said.

In a statement released by Webster police, a spokeswoman says officers had several concerns when they spoke to Ruiz through the window. Among them, it says Ruiz slurred her words and had dark circles under her eyes. It also says the home was in disarray, appeared to be filthy and several cats were loose inside.

Ruiz says officers are exaggerating the truth.

"Now the people that are supposed to be protecting me are out to get me," she said. "I feel that because I did exercise my civil rights and I didn't open my door, they retaliated against me."

Ruiz says she wasn't drinking and has no pets in her home and her children are safe. She's now looking talking to lawyers about this incident.