A local child expert says an eight–year boy did the right thing yesterday when he ran away from a man who tried to entice him.
Orchard Mesa resident Kenneth M. McCann was arrested yesterday and remains in custody today. He allegedly tried to persuade a student from Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary who was on his way to school to go with him. An affidavit released by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office states that McCann tried to lure the boy with candy, and told him he was sent by his mother to pick him up. The boy ran to a nearby school bus, which experts say is exactly what he should have done...and a family talk may have helped.
Western Slope Center For Children Executive Director JoAnne O'Fallon says, "One of the things I think cases like this bring out for all of us is the importance of every single family having a safety plan. It's important to sit down and say, 'What are you gonna do if...?' " She says families often plan for emergencies like fires, but other possible dangers are ignored.
O'Fallon also says parents should always accompany their children to bathrooms and dressing rooms. She adds that in the case of a possible abduction that parents need to strike a balance between remaining vigilant about child safety and being overprotective.
In a hearing today McCann was charged with attempted second degree kidnapping and is being held on a ten–thousand–dollar bond. District Attorney Pete Hautzinger says McCann has no previous record, but says he still decided to set the bond roughly three times higher than what would usually be called for under similar conditions.
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