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Man arrested in alleged luring of Bingen kids

Community should take incident seriously

The Bingen-White Salmon Police Department has arrested a 19-year-old Bingen man after he allegedly attempted to lure some young people into his vehicle last Friday evening.

According to the police report, at about 7:30 p.m. on April 15, a teenaged babysitter was with several school-age kids in the Daubenspeck Park area in Bingen. They were near Franklin Street when a blue Mustang came by, and the three men inside allegedly tried to entice them to get into the car.

The babysitter told the driver to leave, then she took the kids into their nearby house and called the police. Officers responding to the scene could not find the car at that time. However, they located the vehicle on Sunday.

As a result of the investigation, a suspect was arrested Sunday evening and lodged in the Klickitat County Jail.

The Police Department is still investigating the incident.

"Two more arrests are possible," said Police Chief Rich Cortese.

Cortese withheld the name of the suspect taken into custody pending completion of the investigation.

Cortese said although there was no physical threat during the incident, citizens need to be aware that this type of situation is potentially dangerous.

"There was no overt act where they tried to grab them, and we don't want to give out a false panic, but parents need to tell their kids that if someone is trying to lure them into their car or entice them, they need to run away and call 9-1-1 as soon as they can," Cortese said. "It would be great if they get a license plate number, but above all make sure they're safe. Get away and go into a business or where there are other people."

Klickitat County Sheriff Chris Mace said the incident should be taken seriously by adults in the community -- especially those with young children.

"This is another good reminder for parents to talk with their kids and tell them not to get into cars with people they don't know," Mace said.

The suspect is being held in the Klickitat County Jail in Goldendale. He is charged with one count of alleged felony luring of a minor, and is being held on $10,000 bail.


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