A 32-year-old Ventura, California man was arrested in Shelton Friday morning in relation to an attempted kidnapping that took place at a business located in the 100 Block of East Wallace Kneeland-Boulevard.
The incident happened at approximately 7:45 AM. Shelton Police were dispatched to the business in response to reports of a man exposing himself to a child under the age of 10. Police arrived within minutes and detained the suspect.
Investigators learned that the man had approached a child in the children’s section of the business, pulled them to the ground and attempted to remove their clothing. The father of the child intervened, and a struggle ensued to free the child. After the father wrestled the child away from the offender, the suspect removed his shorts and exposed himself.
The child was uninjured, but extremely traumatized by the incident. The suspect was removed from the scene and transported to the Shelton Police Department. The suspect has been living out of his black 2004 Lincoln Navigator over the past several months. The vehicle was impounded as evidence.
Police are currently investigating the suspect’s criminal history. Detectives are also reaching out to other law enforcement agencies that may have experienced similar incidents in their jurisdiction.
“This is a parent’s worst nightmare. We are glad the child’s father was able to intervene,” stated Captain Mike Fiola.
The suspect has been booked into Mason County Jail for Attempted Kidnapping, Child Molestation, and Indecent Exposure. Police are withholding the suspect’s name pending formal charges being filed by the Mason County Prosecutor. The investigation is on-going. More details will follow as they become available.
Anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or has other pertinent information, is encouraged to contact the Shelton Police Department Detective Division at 360-426-4441.