Bail set at just $15k for man who tried abducting a toddler in broad daylight in police-defunded NYC

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And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – The 27-year-old suspect accused of trying to abduct a toddler in broad daylight earlier in October is reportedly being held on $15,000 bail following his arraignment. The disturbing attempted abduction of the child was captured on surveillance video.

On October 11th, footage captured the moments when police say that 27-year-old Santiago Salcedo snatched 3-year-old Lilianna Repka while the young girl was walking with her grandmother at the corner of East Tremont Avenue and Baisley Avenue in Schuylerville.

The suspect seen in the video approaches the young girl and quickly yanks her away from her grandmother, wrapping the child in a blanket and storming off.

However, witness Fermin Bracero says that Salcedo let go of the little girl once he was confronted by himself and others: 

“A couple people went after him and he let the girl go. If it weren’t for us maybe who know what happen. It’s crazy. He just came out of nowhere. Not too sure what he was planning to do, but carrying a blanket, either he’s homeless or looking for a kid. That’s what I saw. That’s what my thinking is.”

Bracero recounted how frightened the little girl’s grandmother was during the incident: 

“She started screaming, the grandmother, ‘My little girl! My little girl!’ She was hysterical. It was like a movie, but this is real life. It was crazy.”

Police later caught up with the suspect after he fled the area, with authorities saying Salcedo was located while he was sleeping in the doorway of a nearby business.

Speaking to the New York Post, the 3-year-old’s mother, Jana Repka, said that she wants the suspect to “get help” but doesn’t want to see him put in jail:

“I want to press charges but I don’t want him to go to jail. I want him to get help. Jail is not going to help him.”

During Salcedo’s arraignment on October 12th, his public defender, Angeline Andersen, quoted the victim’s mother and asked for leniency:

“I ask that your honor have that same compassion and understanding for Mr. Salcedo that the complainant’s mother did.”

The public defender asked that Salcedo receive “medical treatment and mental health services”, which the judge did agree to. When it came time to set bail, Judge Seth Steed noted that the case is “very serious” and noted the time Salcedo faces if convicted:

“The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison for the alleged kidnapping of the 3-year-old girl.”

Bail was set at $15,000 for the charges of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, and acting in a manner injurious to a child.

The suspect was further ordered to stay away from the victim in the event he’s able to make bail.

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Sheriff’s officials: Two kids, 7 and 8, found alive in Texas after being kidnapped by sex offender

(Originally published September 28th, 2021)

BOSQUE COUNTY, TX – Two children who were reported missing earlier in September were reportedly recovered by law enforcement, with officials saying that the children – ages 7 and 8 – were allegedly abducted by a family member who is also a registered sex offender.

The incident began at approximately 10:45 p.m. on September 24th after Bosque County deputies responded to a residence in Walnut Springs regarding a missing 7-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl.

Deputies learned that the missing children may have been abducted by a family member, identified as 34-year-old Randall Thurman.

After authorities learned that Thurman was a registered sex offender, the search for the children became all the more critical.

A notification regarding the missing children and the suspected abductor was sent to neighboring counties – with Houston Police also being notified since due to Thurman reportedly having a residence established in the city.

On September 25th at approximately 1:40 a.m., Bosque County Sheriff’s Office was notified that the 7-year-old boy had been located at a convenience store on I-35 in Hill County and local authorities had the child in custody.

The young boy was reportedly bound with clear packing tape on his throat and arms, with the child telling local authorities that he’d been bound by Thurman and that he still had his 8-year-old sister. The child was then later transferred to an area hospital for unspecified treatment.

An Amber Alert was placed for the 8-year-old girl who was still missing at the time, which made the search for the child statewide.

At approximately 9:15 a.m. on September 25th, Thurman’s vehicle was spotted by a local in Hill County at his property, nestled between a group of trees.

The local contacted the Hill County Sheriff’s Office about Thurman’s vehicle, which deputies attempted to make a stop upon arriving at the scene – but a pursuit ensued with the suspect.

Hill County deputies pursued Thurman’s vehicle, which was traveling northbound on FM 171 toward Cleburne. After just crossing into Johnson County, deputies observed Thurman’s vehicle merge into center lane of the road and sped directly toward an oncoming vehicle.

Officials believe that Thurman did this intentionally.

At the intersection of FM 191 and Johnson County Road 302, Thurman reportedly crashed head-on with an oncoming vehicle. Deputies immediately closed in on both of the vehicles involved in the crash to ascertain the potential injuries sustained by all parties involved.

Thurman died in the collision, as well as the driver of the other vehicle Thurman collided with. Authorities have not released the identity of the deceased driver who was not involved in the pursuit.

As for the young girl, she was found in the passenger seat of Thurman’s vehicle alive. Officials say that the young girl was conscious and able to communicate with authorities before a CareFlight helicopter arrived and transported her to an area hospital for emergency treatment.

Officials have not yet provided an update on the young girl’s condition.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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Firefighter and friends charged with kidnapping a man who allegedly burglarized the fireman’s pot dispensary business

(Originally published August 18th, 2021)

PORTLAND, OR – Three men, including a Portland firefighter, were arrested for kidnapping a man who allegedly burglarized the firefighter’s marijuana shop.

The purpose of the kidnapping was to allegedly teach the victim a lesson.

Police said they believe the victim, who remained unidentified, knew the suspects. However, police did not provide any information on the social connection between them.

The investigation began after 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 when an Uber driver called police to say she saw a man being forced into a black Ranger Rover with no plates at gunpoint near Southwest Taylor Street and Southwest Broadway, according to a FOX 12 report.

Police said three men, identified as Hong Dieu Lee, 42, Douglas Bourland, 46, and Edward Sherman Simmons, 24, were arrested in connection with the kidnapping, according to report by The Oregonian.

Bourland owns a marijuana dispensary business and has worked as a firefighter with Portland Fire & Rescue for 14 years, according to The Oregonian. However, the newspaper reported Bourland was on leave from his job prior to his arrest Saturday.

The Oregonian reached out to Terry Foster, a Portland Fire & Rescue spokesperson, who declined to say why Bourland had been on leave or whether he was facing any consequences with the department following his arrest.

Foster also declined to say what station Bourland worked at, but a source told The Oregonian that he worked at a busy station in Southeast Portland.

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone said she was “gravely concerned” by the details of the arrest, but would follow the legal proceedings of the case before forming an opinion. In a written statement to The Oregonian, Boone wrote:

“On the surface these are horrific charges and justice needs to be served.”

The Oregonian made several attempts to reach Bourland on Monday, but calls to him and an acquaintance went unreturned.

According to the FOX 12 report, the victim was eating dinner with friends at a restaurant when he stepped outside to talk with Edward Simmons. The Range Rover, which was being driven by Bourland, pulled up and another man, later identified as Lee, got out of the vehicle with a gun in his hand.

Court documents state Lee pistol whipped the victim and the victim’s friends tried to intervene but were stopped by Simmons. The victim was then forced into the vehicle.

FOX 12 reported that according to court documents, the victim’s friends told officers that they and the victim had burglarized a marijuana shop called the Oregon Hemp House about a week prior and had taken product from the dispensary.

Officers later located the black Range Rover with no plates driving on South Vermont Street and initiated a traffic stop.

While the victim was not in the vehicle, court documents stated officers saw a handgun on the front passenger floorboard and saw blood on the interior of the rear driver’s side door.

Lee spoke with detectives and told them Bourland learned the victim had burglarized his business and stole marijuana.

Bourland and Lee then decided they wanted to teach the victim “a lesson” so they kidnapped him, court documents stated.

Lee told detectives that he, Bourland and Simmons then drove the victim out to a farm in Estacada and put him in a storage container, according to court documents.

Police and medics found the victim the next morning around 10 a.m. in Clackamas County. Portland Police Lt. Greg Pashley did not say whether the victim had sustained any injuries, but said the person did not need to be taken to a hospital, according to The Oregonian’s report.

Lee is facing charges of second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and three counts of first-degree kidnapping.

Simmons is facing three counts of first-degree kidnapping. Both Lee and Simmons were arraigned on those charges on Monday.

Bourland was arrested for three counts of first-degree kidnapping. He was released on his own recognizance and was scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Portland Fire & Rescue confirmed to FOX 12 that Bourland is a firefighter who was on leave before his arrest.

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