Man Accused of Trying to Kidnap Infant From Yakima Walmart


A Wapato man is in jail after a woman said he tried to take her infant son at a Yakima Walmart parking lot Thursday.

Police were called to the Walmart at 1600 E. Chestnut Ave. around 12:40 p.m. after the woman said the man tried to take her 4-month-old son from her car.

The child's mother said she was standing outside her sport utility vehicle in the park tending to her son, who was strapped into a child car seat, when she saw the man walking toward her vehicle, according to a probable cause affidavit. She told her mother to watch out for the man, and when she turned around, the man was standing behind her.

She told the man to leave, but he walked past her and started asking questions about the baby, the affidavit said, and she had to push him away while telling him to go away. He then made a fist, causing the woman to fear for her and her child's safety, and when she pushed him again, he grabbed her arm, the affidavit said, as he tried to get to the child's car seat, the affidavit said.

That was when the woman put herself between the man and her child, took an electric stun gun from her purse and threatened to shock the man with it, the affidavit said.

The woman's mother said she tried to push the man, whom she said appeared drunken, away from her daughter, and he made a fist as if he were going to hit her, the affidavit sad. A bystander came over when the woman's mother yelled for help, and the man let the woman go and walked off, saying "I wasn't doing anything," the affidavit said.

Police found the 44-year-old man nearby and detained him. He was booked into the Yakima County jail on suspicion of attempted second-degree kidnapping, fourth-degree assault and harassment.

During a preliminary appearance hearing Friday in Yakima County Superior Court, Deputy Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Quinten Bowman argued for $100,000 bail based on what he's accused of doing.

"The facts in this case are absolutely appalling," Bowman said. "He tried to snatch an infant."

Defense attorney Melissa Derry argued that $10,000 bail would be more appropriate given his lack of recent convictions, the fact that he has stable housing and would be able to attend court if released, and that he is presumed innocent.

"I recognize that the state is saying these allegations are ...  heinous, but they still just allegations," Derry said.

Judge Sonia Rodriguez True said the allegations were serious, but she recognized that his criminal history was "remote," and set his bail at $30,000.

The Yakima Herald-Republic typically does not publish the names of criminal defendants until they are formally charged.