VANCOUVER, Wash. — Vancouver police arrested a man for allegedly abducting an 11-year-old child at a lemonade stand Tuesday in Clark County.
Benjamin Michael Kelley, 35, of Vancouver was in court Wednesday on a charge of second-degree attempted kidnapping. He was being held on $50,000 bail.
According to court documents, police responded to 911 calls just after 7 p.m. Tuesday night at an apartment complex on Northeast 109th Avenue in Vancouver.
Tara Redfern told KGW that her 11-year-old son Austin and his friend Beau were selling lemonade and chips at a stand with other kids near the apartment complex when an unknown man approached them.
"It's scary," Redfern said. "They're good boys. They were just trying to do something fun."
According to police statements, the boys told officers that at first, Kelley began soliciting business advice and alluded to a business opportunity where the kids could make $1,000 a week. They said he also made an inappropriate sexual comment regarding his girlfriend. He appeared to move to shake the boy's hand, but then instead snatched the boy in an attempt to pick him up.
"He tried to take me but I kicked his shin and I ran," Austin said. "Don't grab kids or you're going to jail."
Austin said Kelley tried to steal his scooter — which he eventually dropped — and stole several bags of chips and lemonade while running off. He was later found in a nearby parking lot, police said.
Austin and his father Corey drove around the neighborhood until they found Kelley while police were on the way.
"[Corey] went and confronted the guy and pretty much told him, 'You touch any kid around here again and I'm going to end you,'" Tara said. "The guy was like, 'What can I do to make it right?' And it's like, you can't make it right! You grabbed a kid, man!"