Bizarre call to Troy hotel unearths possible kidnapping, drug, mail and identity theft cases

Man kicks window of police car 29 times from inside, shatters glass

Rocky Hernandez and Justin Vita-Purnell are accused of a variety of crimes, Troy police said.
Rocky Hernandez and Justin Vita-Purnell are accused of a variety of crimes, Troy police said. (Troy Police Department)

TROY, Mich. – A bizarre call to a Troy hotel unearthed a slew of possible crimes linked to the people inside one room, including kidnapping, drug use, mail theft, identity theft, lying several times to officers and kicking out the window of a police car.

MORE: Man shatters police car window from inside by kicking it 29 times with bare feet -- see video here

Police called to hotel

At 6:27 a.m. May 20, Troy police officers were called to the Hawthron Suites at 2600 Livernois Road for a welfare check.

Officials said the woman who called said her name was “Mailey” and that she had “awoken from a dead sleep” because of a disturbance. She asked to meet police near the main hotel lobby, according to authorities.

When police arrived, they said there was nobody near the lobby, so they asked dispatch to call the woman back and meet them outside.

Shortly afterward, a man and a woman walked up to police, officials said. The woman identified herself as “Mailey” and the man identified himself as Justin Vita-Purnell, according to police.

An officer said he couldn’t find anyone with the name the woman provided, and after asking her name multiple times, she gave them her real name

The woman, 19, insisted that she had given police her correct name the whole time, police said. “Even though she did not,” the report reads.

She said the reason she had called police was to have her brother and her cousin, Vita-Purnell, removed from her hotel room because they were being loud, according to authorities.

Florida warrants

Police said the 19-year-old woman’s Law Enforcement Information Network showed a full extradition warrant out of Miami-Dade County, Florida, for narcotics and a Computerized Criminal History for loitering, multiple offenses of drug paraphernalia and multiple offenses of narcotic possession.

Vita-Purnell showed a warrant block on his driver’s licenses out of Ohio, which means he would be having bench warrants for failing to show up for arraignment on an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge, according to authorities. Those were not currently in the system, officials said.

Officials in Miami-Dade County said they would pick the woman up. She was put in handcuffs and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle, police said.

Vita-Purnell was allowed to leave the scene and returned to the hotel room, police said.

Men return to lobby

A short time later, Vita-Purnell returned with another man, who said his name was Rocky Hernandez, according to officials.

Police said Hernandez, 27, and Vita-Purnell, 24, walked aggressively toward officers and asked what was going on.

Hernandez said the 19-year-old woman is his wife and wanted to know what was going on, officials said.

Police said Hernandez also had a full extradition warrant out of Miami-Dade County for narcotics. They said they would also pick him up. He was put in handcuffs and placed in a police car.

Rocky Stuart Hernandez (Troy Police Department)

Officials said Hernandez showed a Computerized Criminal History for domestic violence, multiple offenses of battery, multiple offenses of cocaine possession, multiple offenses of grand theft larceny, multiple offenses of burglary, multiple offenses of resist officer, fleeing and eluding, robbery, firearm offenses and a felony firearm violation from October 2020 in Michigan.

Hotel room discovery

Police spoke to hotel workers, who said the room was the registered to the 19-year-old woman. They asked that anyone else in the room be evicted, officials said.

When three officers went to the room, the door was open and nobody was inside, authorities said.

Police said they found meth pipes in plain view.

Vita-Purnell was brought up to the room, and officials asked him what belongings he needed, police said. He said he needed a clothes bag and two Gucci bags and pointed them out to police, according to authorities.

Due to the criminal histories of the people involved in the situation, police got consent to search the property before turning it over to Vita-Purnell in case there were weapons inside, according to officials.

Vita-Purnell said there weren’t any weapons or illegal items in his property, but police said they found a tan and silver mechanical stiletto knife.

“Oh, I forgot about that,” Vita-Purnell said, according to police. He was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, officers said.

Justin Sean Vita-Purnell (Troy Police Department)

Police said they searched the rest of the belongings and found several credit and debit cards, various identification documents, mail, a laptop computer and a thumb drive.

Vita-Purnell’s Florida identification was also in the bag with the other documents, officials said. He said the laptop belonged to him, too, police said.

While police were in the hotel room another officer from outside said help was needed because Hernandez had kicked out the window of a police car. Officers ran outside and saw Hernandez was yelling out an open window with shattered glass all over the ground, authorities said.

Woman inside police car

Police released video from inside a police cruiser that showed the 19-year-old woman arguing with officers and kicking at the door.

Here’s the full transcription from the video:

Woman: “Oh my God, hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello?

An officer came over to the cruiser and opened the door.

Woman: “Can I please talk to my man?”

Officer: “No.”

Woman. “I need to. Why? Why am I under arrest?”

Her foot was blocking the door from closing, and video shows the officer bending down to remove it so he could close the door. He eventually forced the woman back onto the seat so he could shut the door. What happened in between him moving her foot and pushing her back is blocked by the woman.

Woman: “Why is he under arrest? He didn’t do nothing. Ow! He didn’t do nothing.”

She was on her back in the seat and started kicking the door of the cruiser with one leg and then the next. In all, she kicked it about 15 times.

She sat up, looked out the window, leaned back, gave the window one last kick and then straightened up again.

You can see the full video below. NOTE: The video has been edited due to explicit language.

Man kicks out police car window

Police released video from inside a police cruiser that showed Hernandez arguing with officers and eventually kicking out the back window with his bare feet.

Here’s the full transcription from the video:

Hernandez: “Hey, don’t be touching my ******* wife, ******.”

Officer: “Tell her not to ******* kick me.”

Hernandez: “No, I don’t give a ****, ******. That’s a woman. Don’t be touching no ******* woman, ******.”

Officer: “If she kicks me again --”

Hernandez: “I don’t give a ****, ******. What the **** is wrong with you? Don’t be touching my wife, man. You’re wrong for that, bro. You’re wrong for that. You’re a cop. You don’t touch no female. Let her do her job. ******* stupid-*** *******. Why don’t you do that to me? Come on. You look at my record yet? Yeah. This **** ain’t sweet. Look at me. Look, look. Hey, you better watch out.”

Then, Hernandez can be seen shouldering the window three times after his wife can be heard yelling something from the other police car. He then leaned back and kicked the window 29 times -- 27 times with just his right foot and twice with both feet.

On the final kick with both feet, the window shatters and Hernandez leans out the opening to yell at officers again.

Hernandez: “Don’t be ******* with my *****, bro. Don’t be ******* with my *****, dog. That’s my girl, dog.”

Then, more of Hernandez’s body can be seen stretching out the window. It’s not clear if he leaned farther out or if he was being wrestled back into the car by officers.

Hernandez: “Don’t be ******* with my *****, dog.”

Officer: “(Indiscernible.) Try it.”

Hernandez: “Don’t be touching her, dog. You’re a man. You’re a man.”

Officer: “**** you. Tell her not to kick me.”

Hernandez: “Then don’t touch her. Leave her alone.”

Officer: “Yeah, you’re ****** now. You’re gonna be.”

Hernandez: “I don’t give a ****, man. I’m going to prison regardless.”

Officer: “Yepp.”

Hernandez: “You know that.”

Officer: “Yepp.”

Hernandez: “Don’t you think I know that?”

Officer: “(Indiscernible.)

Hernandez: “**** it. That’s my wife, though. Don’t be hitting my wife.”

Officer: “No one ******* hit her.”

Hernandez: “You hit my wife, ******. I saw you.”

Officer: “Shut the **** up.”

Hernandez: “You hit my wife.”

Officer: “Really?”

Hernandez: “I seen you. I seen you, yeah.”

Officer: “No, I pushed her back.”

Hernandez: “No, you hit her.”

Officer: “How the **** did I hit her? It’s on ******* camera.”

Hernandez: “I saw you punch her. I saw you punch her. Touch my ******* wife like that, man. What’s wrong with you?”

You can see the full video below. NOTE: The video has been edited, but there is still some strong language.

Property search

Hernandez, Vita-Purnell and the 19-year-old woman were taken separately to the Troy Lock-Up Facility, police said. After they were booked and police were back at the station, two officers went through the Gucci bag to identify the documents inside, according to authorities.

Here’s what police said they found:

  • A United States Uniformed Services card issued to “Victim 1.”
  • A Mastercard Paypal cash debit card issued to “Victim 2.”
  • A state of Florida EBT Card issued to “Victim 2.”
  • A state of Florida driver’s license issued to “Victim 3.”
  • A $1,300 check written from “Victim 4″ to Lord Abbett that was endorsed.
  • A $100 check written from “Victim 4″ to Lord Abbett that was endorsed.
  • A $1,000 check written from “Victim 4″ to National Financial Services that was not endorsed.
  • A check written by “Victim 5″ to Vita-Purnell for $200 that was endorsed.
  • A check written by “Victim 5″ to Vita-Purnell for $460 that was endorsed.
  • Pacific Life financial paperwork written to a wealth manager from “Victim 6.”
  • A state of Florida EBT card issued to “Victim 7.”
  • A Visa debit card issued to “Victim 8.”
  • A Visa debit card issued to “Victim 9.”
  • A PNC Bank statement for Big Shots LLC Collegiate Bead Company.
  • A check written by CLC that was endorsed.
  • A check written by Quality Gold Inc. that was endorsed.
  • An H&R Block Mastercard issued to an H&R Block client.
  • A Comdata Mastercard issued to a customer.
  • A Comdata Mastercard issued to another customer.
  • A state of Ohio driver’s license issued to Vita-Purnell.
  • Two court documents for Vita-Purnell from Summit County, Ohio, for unlawful use of a vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon.
  • An Ohio turnpike receipt.
  • A Walmart receipt from Ohio.
  • A Sunshine Mobil receipt from Florida dated May 8, 2021.
  • A McDonald’s receipt from Florida dated May 9, 2021.
  • A black diary/notebook that appears to have been written in by a woman.
  • A black HP laptop.
  • A black computer thumb drive.
  • An Xbox controller.
  • A phone charger.
  • A Gucci wallet with nothing inside.
  • A bandana.

Stolen wallet, Uniformed Services ID card

Police reached out to Victim 1, the owner of the U.S. Uniformed Services identification card. They said the man told them he used to live in Florida, but moved to Hawaii, and as he was moving, he gave that card to his friend to help his friend remember him.

That friend was the same person labelled Victim 2 above. Police reached out to that man, who said his wallet had been stolen in January in Miami-Dade County. He said he had made a police report with Miami-Dade County, but that since his wallet was stolen, “his life has been turned upside down.”

Victim 2 said his wallet had contained several credit and debit cards, as well as his social security card. He said his identity had been completely stolen, which led to him losing his job with a non-profit organization, losing unemployment benefits and struggling to make a living, according to police.

Officers said they asked Vita-Purnell if he knew anyone in the military, and he said just his grandparents. When police asked how a military ID card got into his bag, he said he had no possible explanation.

Kidnapping?

Police realized Victim 3 had been the subject of a possible kidnapping in Troy on May 14, 2021. In that report, the woman had ran to Powerhouse Gym on Livernois Road and told workers she had been kidnapped from Florida, taken to Ohio and then moved to Michigan, according to authorities.

The woman said she was being held captive at the Hawthron Suites, officials said.

Powerhouse Gym employees called 911, but the woman left the scene in a white Buick before officers arrived, authorities said.

Gym employees said the woman had a black eye and scratches on her chest when they saw her. She was found by Detroit police and told officers she didn’t need assistance, according to records.

Police tried to contact the woman after finding her Florida driver’s license in Vita-Purnell’s bag, but the call went straight to voicemail, they said. An officer left a message.

Vita-Purnell waived his Miranda rights and told officers that he had been in Michigan for about a week, since around May 11, police said.

At first, he denied knowing the woman involved in the possible kidnapping case, but when police asked why her driver’s license was in his bag, he said she was a friend he has known for two years, according to authorities.

Vita-Purnell said the woman drove up to Michigan and called him to see where he was staying. His phone was on at the time, so he gave her the address of the Hawthorn Suites, officials said.

The woman checked into a nearby hotel and went to visit Vita-Purnell on or around May 12, police said. When she went there, she didn’t have a black eye or any injuries, Vita-Purnell said.

He told officers he didn’t see her for the next two days, and when she came over on the third day, she had a black eye, authorities said. Vita-Purnell said he didn’t think it was his business to ask about the black eye, so he didn’t, police said.

Vita-Purnell said he and the woman watched movies while she was over and then she left for the night. Police said he claimed the woman left her license on the kitchen counter.

Vita-Purnell said the woman left May 14 and called him asking him to bring her license back when he returned to Florida, police records show. He said she drives a white Buick.

Police said Vita-Purnell told them he wasn’t surprised the woman had made a kidnapping claim because she had recently accused him of kidnapping and hiring a hit man in Akron, Ohio.

He said the woman is “psychotic” and that he has seen her hurt herself by hitting her head on the steering wheel while driving, authorities said. He told officers he made the decision not to be in the same vehicle as her anymore.

When police asked Vita-Purnell why he continued to be friends with her even though he called her psychotic and she made allegations against him, he said, “I like to give people second chances.”

Vita-Purnell told police that the woman called him May 14 when she was on the way to Florida and told him she had forgotten her license, officials said. He told police he didn’t see her that day and doesn’t know where she slept the night before.

Officers told Vita-Purnell that the woman ran across Livernois Road from the Hawthorn Suites with injuries and told gym employees that she had been held against her will from Florida to Ohio to Michigan. He said he had seen her the day before she left, but that he didn’t have a conversation with her, police said.

“Mr. Vita-Purnell was clearly not truthful and withholding information from officers the whole time,” the police case report reads.

The 19-year-old woman also agreed to talk about the possible kidnapping case, police said. She told officers that she had come to Michigan about eight months to a year ago, and when Hernandez got arrested, she went back to Florida. She said she returned to Michigan about a month or two ago when Hernandez got released, authorities said.

Hernandez’s wife said they had been staying at the Hawthorn Suites, and one day she got a call from her brother that he was one his way to visit, officials said.

“(The woman) was not forthcoming of her brother’s name,” the case report reads. “Initially, she stated Joseph, then stated John, and it alternated until she admitted his name is actually Joseph.”

She told police that she doesn’t get along with her brother and wasn’t happy to hear he was coming, officers said. She said her brother brought his girlfriend, and that she is the woman who made the kidnapping claims.

The 19-year-old woman said her brother and his girlfriend only stayed in Michigan for a couple of hours before leaving to go back to Ohio. A few days later, they came back, and this time her brother’s girlfriend dropped off her brother and Vita-Purnell before leaving, according to the case report.

Police said the 19-year-old woman told them she didn’t see her brother’s girlfriend either time, but she was told the woman was with her brother and Vita-Purnell.

Checks

When Victim 4, whose name was on several checks found in Vita-Purnell’s bag, spoke to officers, she said she wrote and mailed those checks and they were intended for investments for her child’s college funds, according to authorities.

The checks were dated May 12, 2021, police said.

The woman said she had never heard of Vita-Purnell and that he didn’t have permission to be in possession of the checks she had mailed. Two of the checks had an endorsement signature on the back, officials said.

Victim 5 lives just a couple hundred feet from the Hawthorn Suites, according to police. She wasn’t home, but told officers that she never wrote any checks to Vita-Purnell and that she had never heard of him before, authorities said.

She said she had no idea how the checks with her name on them were stolen, but she believes someone must have broken into her car or house, police said. She said she was going to head home the next day to check her house and car, according to officials.

When she returned home, the woman said there were non signs of forced entry into her home or car, police said. She checked a copy of the check that had been found in Vita-Purnell’s bag and said it had the wrong account number on it, according to officials. She was worried that Vita-Purnell had created the check himself.

The checks were dated May 13, 2021, and May 18, 2021, and had endorsement signatures on the back, police said. The signatures resembled the ones on Victim 4′s checks, officers said.

Vita-Purnell said he received the two checks with Victim 5′s name on them from a friend’s mother for doing some work for her, police said. He told officers that on or around May 7-8 in Akron, Ohio, he had fixed a valve cover on her car and fixed her sink, so she paid him with those two checks.

Vita-Purnell said the checks were written in Akron, Ohio, according to authorities. He said he had endorsed the checks and tried to cash on in Auburn Hills, but the transaction was denied, police said.

He gave officers a name for his friend, but said he didn’t know his friend’s mother’s name, authorities said.

When police told Vita-Purnell the checks were from someone who lived right near the Hawthron Suites, he said he didn’t know how that was possible and kept saying, “Well I didn’t look at the checks closely when she wrote them,” according to officials.

An officer asked Vita-Purnell why the checks were dated for May 13 and May 18 if he completed the work on May 7-8, and he said, “I don’t know, I did not read the checks closely when she wrote them,” according to police.

Vita-Purnell said he doesn’t know how other checks or piece of mail got into his bag and he couldn’t think of any possible way they ended up there, officials said.

Police couldn’t get in contact with anyone from CLC or Quality Gold about their checks, but both checks were endorsed with a signature that resembled the others, according to authorities.

Victim 6 told police he had mailed the financial paperwork to an address on Livernois Road, but never gave permission for Vita-Purnell to have it, police said. He said he had never heard of Vita-Purnell, officers said.

Stolen mail

Police couldn’t get in contact with Victims 7, 8 and 9, but officers spoke with business representatives from multiple addresses on Livernois Road about mail stolen from their mailboxes.

One woman said her company had had multiple customers call over the last four months about mail that they sent but was never received by the company, police said. The business thought the issue was related to the COVID-19 pandemic and contacted the post office to help look for the missing mail, authorities said.

The woman and a man from another business said some of the items found in Vita-Purnell’s bag belonged to them, according to police.

The 19-year-old woman told police that Vita-Purnell and her brother had returned to the hotel about two or three days earlier with “a bunch of mail.” She said she had asked them what they were doing, and they said, “Just looking around,” according to the case report.

She told police she had looked at the mail and saw it belonged to other people, and she realized the men had stolen it, authorities said. She said she felt back for the people who had sent the mail, so she threw it in the trash.

His friend Joe’s credit card

Vita-Purnell was asked about the debit and credit cards in his bag, and he told officers they were all his except one that belonged to his friend, “Joe,” according to authorities.

He told police he doesn’t know Joe’s last name because he never asked him. Vita-Purnell said Joe had borrowed his jacket at some point, and when he returned it, his credit card was still in the pocket, according to the case report.

An officer asked Vita-Purnell if he had ever called Joe to let him know about his card, and he said he wasn’t able to because his phone was out of service, authorities said.

The officer asked why he didn’t call Joe when his phone was back in service around the time the woman who accused him of kidnapping called on her way back to Florida, and Vita-Purnell got upset, saying, “Don’t make claims like I’m a bad friend,” according to police.

Check endorsements

After the first interview with Vita-Purnell ended, an officer looked at the items from the bag more closely and realized that the endorsements on the backs of many of the checks looked similar to the ones Vita-Purnell admitted to signing.

Officers said went back to Vita-Purnell and asked him to verify that he had endorsed the back of the $460 and $200 checks. They said he verified that it was his signature on those checks.

Then, police asked him why his signature matched the ones on the other checks, and Vita-Purnell refused to answer anymore questions, according to authorities.

Drug questions

The 19-year-old woman told police that Hernandez and her brother smoke methamphetamine and marijuana, and that she has only tried meth once, officials said.

She told officers that all the meth pipes in the hotel room belonged to Hernandez and her brother, according to police.

She wouldn’t provide any information about where they got the meth, the case report says.

Charges

Troy police are seeking a warrant for malicious destruction of police property against Hernandez. He is also facing possible punishment from Miami-Dade County authorities, officials said.

Police are seeking warrants against Vita-Purnell for identity theft, receiving and concealing stolen property, uttering and publishing checks, larceny from mail, carrying a concealed weapon and fraud -- illegal use of a credit card.

Miami-Dade County officials called Troy police and said they no longer wanted to extradite the 19-year-old woman. She was held while officers spoke to victims of the identity and mail theft to determine her involvement, but was only issued a citation for hindering and obstructing police, according to authorities. She was then released, they said.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.