Woman gets 60 days in jail for triggering false Amber Alert

An Amber Alert for two missing girls is posted on a freeway sign along the 57 Freeway in Orange.
An Amber Alert for two missing girls is posted on a freeway sign along the 57 Freeway in Orange.
(Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles woman who triggered an Amber Alert after falsely reporting an acquaintance had carjacked her vehicle with her 16-year-old stepson inside was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in county jail.

The sentence came after Charline Gatson, 26, pleaded no contest to one count of filing a false police report, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

She was ordered to serve 36 months of probation and pay a $220 fine, the city attorney’s office said.

“Making a false criminal report is a serious offense with real consequences,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement. “It squanders precious law enforcement resources that should be devoted to solving actual crimes. And here, this reckless and irresponsible action triggered an Amber Alert that diverted attention throughout our region.”


Gatson was arrested last week after investigators determined she had lied about the kidnapping and carjacking, police said.

She told officers an acquaintance approached her on July 6 in the area of 47th and Figueroa streets in South Los Angeles, pulled out a gun and demanded that she walk away from her vehicle, said Officer Tony Im, spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Gatson told police she feared for her safety and walked away from the vehicle, the officer said. She claimed her stepson was sitting in the backseat of the car.

Authorities later found Gatson’s vehicle in San Bernardino.

They determined Gatson’s report was false and her stepson was not involved, the city attorney’s office said.

Gatson had lent the car to the woman, who refused to return it, police said.

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA