Boy arrested for kidnapping involved in prior case

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The 15-year-old boy arrested in connection with an attempted kidnapping in Sprague had previously been investigated a year ago for allegedly trying to lure a minor, Lincoln County Prosecutor Jeff Barkdull said Thursday.

The sheriff's office forwarded a report accusing the boy of luring, but the prosecutor's office decided not to file charges in that case, Barkdull said.

"It did not meet the elements of luring," Barkdull said. "We re-reviewed it and I stand by the decision.

Barkdull said the previous incident also occurred in Sprague.

The 15-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, is scheduled to appear in Lincoln County Superior Court in Davenport on Friday afternoon. Barkdull said he has not made a charging decision yet.

According to a document involving last year's incident released Thursday by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the responding deputy spoke with a woman who had phoned in the luring report involving her 11-year-old son.

She said that the suspect had taken her son by the hand and walked away from her residence. She questioned him and the suspect let go, the report said.

Meanwhile, residents of Sprague expressed relief Thursday that an arrest has been made in the attempted kidnapping of the 22-month-old toddler from a city park- an incident that drew wide attention after it was caught on surveillance video.

"They're so relieved," said Dorothy Giddings, an antique store owner who was involved in the rescue of the toddler on Sunday. "The only sad part is it is a young boy who lives here in town."

Sprague is a farm town of about 500 people located about 40 miles west of Spokane along Interstate 90.

The parents of the toddler expressed praise for their two older children, who chased the kidnapper and screamed for help.

"They have a motherly instinct," Michael Wright told The Spokesman-Review about his two older children. "We're going to watch each other closer and even more diligently than we did before."

Giddings said the 15-year-old boy lived with his family but did not socialize much with other teenagers. He apparently wore a disguise during the attempted abduction to mask his identity, she said.

Authorities announced the arrest on Wednesday afternoon, culminating a tense four days in Sprague.

"Deputies and detectives have worked relentlessly on this case," Sheriff Wade Magers said in a press release.

The identity of the youth was being withheld because he is a juvenile.

The dramatic surveillance video footage showed a male running down a sidewalk with the toddler in his arms last Sunday.

The child's two siblings screamed and chased him. The scene ended after two teenage boys joined the chase, and the man put down the toddler and fled. The toddler was not hurt.

One of the kidnap victim's young siblings has positively identified the suspect, Magers said.

The 15-year-old was booked into a juvenile detention facility on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping, Magers said.

The incident began after Michael Wright left his three children with a baby sitter in Sprague on Sunday while he went to work. The children - Brenden, 10, Delicia, 8, and the toddler - were playing unsupervised in a city park near the sitter's house.

Sheriff's deputies said the suspect talked with the children for a few minutes, then scooped the toddler out of his stroller and ran down the street. Surveillance video from a grocery store showed the kidnapper running, child in arms, with Delicia chasing and Brenden not far behind.

Delicia's screams alerted Giddings, who was working at her antique store downtown.

Giddings said she realized what was happening and sent her grandson Andrew Crane, 15, and his friend Isaac Yow, 16, to chase the man.

As the older boys approached, the man put the child down in a vacant lot and escaped, the sheriff's office said.

Giddings said Crane and Yow knew the suspect from school, although they did not recognize him Sunday.

"He was wearing glasses and a fake mustache," she said.