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Monroe sheriff's office: Homeless man being held on attempted kidnapping charges

MONROE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is investigating the attempted kidnapping of a 7-year-old Monroe boy.

The incident happened Saturday afternoon in a wooded lot south of the Kroger shopping plaza on South Monroe Street near Jones Avenue in Monroe Township.

The sheriff's office said a group of young boys, ranging in age from 7 years old to 14 years old, traveled on bikes to a fast food restaurant in the area. The oldest boy of the group, a 14-year-old boy, broke from the younger group and visited a different fast food restaurant also in the area. The suspect, an 18-year-old homeless man with ties to Monroe, Temperance, and the Petersburg areas met up with the younger group and accompanied them to the fast food restaurant they were visiting.

After eating, the group, including the suspect, began riding back near the wooded lot. The suspect and the 7-year-old had rode ahead of the remaining boys. It was at that point the suspect grabbed the 7-year-old boy and attempted to pull him into the wooded lot from the paved alleyway they were riding on. The 14-year-old boy had returned from the fast food restaurant he visited and observed from a distance the suspect pulling the boy's arm, trying to jerk him towards the woods.

The witness raced to the 7-year-old boy's aid and intervened, pushing the suspect. According to the group of boys, the suspect claimed to be the father of the 7-year-old boy. The group was able to flee
from the suspect and later told their parents who in turn reported this to authorities. After the initial report, Deputies searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.

Detectives were called to investigate, and the following morning, the suspect was found sleeping inside a tent in the area. The suspect was arrested and taken to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office
for questioning. He was later lodged at the Monroe County Jail on attempted kidnapping charges. Anyone with information is asked to call 734-240-7530 or 734-240-7548.