FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A man received a felony kidnapping charge after reportedly grabbing and running away with a 2-year-old child who had been playing in his front yard, court documents indicated.
On Feb. 15, the 2-year-old victim and an unnamed witness (Witness 1) were playing in their front yard at a home near Fairfield Elementary School when 42-year-old Arturo J. Rodriguez reportedly grabbed the victim from his scooter and ran off, according to court documents.
According to court documents, both Witness 1 and another unnamed witness (Witness 2), observed Rodriguez hanging out across the street near Fairfield Elementary School before the incident.
Witness 1 told police in court documents he briefly looked away from the victim, and when he looked back, he saw the scooter lying on the concrete by itself.
Court documents indicated Witness 1 then ran to look for the victim and reportedly saw Rodriguez carrying the victim away before calling out to Witness 2, who was inside the home at the time of the incident.
Witness 2 told police she also saw Rodriguez running away with the victim through the window and then proceeded to chase and eventually tackle Rodriguez, according to court documents.
According to court documents, a third unnamed witness grabbed the victim and took him home safely after Witness 2 tackled Rodriguez. Witness 2 then followed Rodriguez until police arrested him.
During an interview with police, Rodriguez said he had been walking from George’s International Grocery to his home in the 100 block of Leith Street and that he “might have brushed the child,” but did not take the victim and run, according to court documents.
Rodriguez also told police in court documents he is from Nicaragua and has been in the U.S. for 11 months.
Rodriguez faces one count of kidnapping where the victim is less than 14 years old, a Level 5 felony.
Allen County prosecutors formally charged Rodriguez Wednesday, and he is being held in Allen County Jail on a $10,000 bond.