Investigation Ongoing After Reported Attempted Kidnapping of Child, Says Sheriff’s Office; No Crime Believed to Have Happened

Humboldt County Sheriffs Office HCSO

Humboldt County Sheriffs Office HCSO

Samantha Karges, spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, told us that her agency does not believe a crime was committed despite a report of an attempted kidnapping of a child in Myrtletown on Saturday evening between 4:30 and 5 p.m. on Park Street. The report which was spread widely on social media said that a white male in his 50’s with a “pronounced limp, black curly hair, receding hairline, & medium build…wearing a black vest, white T-shirt, jeans, and brown shoes” seized a six-year-old boy by the hand. Two youths intervened, according to the post.

Karges, however, explained that the deputy who investigated spoke with the child’s mother and doesn’t think that harm was intended. “[A]t this time, it is believed that the man was possibly an intoxicated passerby who gave the child a fist bump as he strolled through the neighborhood,” she told us. “[The incident] is not being investigated as an attempted kidnapping at this time, as it appears no crime actually occurred. However, the case is still under investigation and our agency welcomes any additional information the community has to provide.”

Karges says that the Sheriff’s Department encourages “the community to continue reporting suspicious circumstances to law enforcement.”

Use this incident as a prompt to talk with your children about what to do if approached by a stranger, she suggested. “Teaching your child basic self defense and stranger awareness is a great way to empower your child to make safe choices.”



  • I went to the “Humboldt County on Alert” page which is linked in the article via the description of the possible perp.
    I swear, if there’s anything that will convince me that society is swirling around the drain, and rightfully so, it’s the stupidity, paranoia, fear, and blaming in the comments there.
    Do people know that there is no more chance of being kidnapped nowadays than there ever was? Just google it. Nobody wants your child–at least no more than they were wanted a few decades back.
    Yet back then, we kids got to go outside and play. Unsupervised. As long as we came home for dinner, and promised not to talk to strangers or hop in any “black sedans” (nowadays white vans). And we didn’t even have cell phones! (Maybe that’s the trouble. People are so used to being connected every frickin’ second of every day, that if they don’t hear from someone for an hour they panic.)
    I don’t know… i am not someone to say stupid things like, “In my day we rode without seatbelts and we’re still alive!” Or “I drove drunk AF and never had any trouble… why all the concern nowadays?” I’m saying i DON’T believe in staying stuck in stupid habits of the past.

    And yet… this bizarre paranoia that deprives people–and i include children–of the freedom to relax and enjoy the world without constant worry; and then accuses and shames anyone of NOT living in virtual prisons of fear, or of allowing their kids to be kids, of neglect and moral laxity–this is insane!

    What is the ultimate goal here, life in a little locked box using a remote device to experience the world… safe from: viruses, insects, people, wild animals, people, earthquakes and storms, people, motor vehicles, bacteria, pollution… people!
    I don’t know, i think a lot of us, especially us older folks, are seriously doubting the value of any so-called life whose main intention is protection from life.

    I don’t know about this old guy who made the grievous mistake of reaching out to a child. He MAY have had bad intentions, in which case it was good that the child screamed and resisted, and good that neighboring teenagers came to his defense. Perfect… well-trained kids–the scare tactics worked, the kid survived! The only issue now would be to apprehend the perp. The parents did nothing wrong at all.
    But it’s also possible the poor guy was just old-school, and forgot that today, any normal thing you’d do with a little kid, like bump fists, is seen as an indication that you want to do harm to the child. It’s disgraceful that we’ve gotten to the point where human connection, human affection, is seen more often as a threat than a boon.
    I have a male friend who loves to dance and play. He’s a natural leader, a camp counselor, a game initiator. He was about 40 when he figured out that encouraging kids to join him in a circle and dance, at a music show with thousands of people around, got him warnings from parents and concerned friends that what he was doing–getting kids to have fun in an activity that involved, sometimes, bumping or hand-holding–was entirely inappropriate.
    WTF, let me out of this madhouse!

    • That is the Republican way, to try to keep people in a state of fear.

      • You got that backwards.

      • The “War on Christmas” was all typical Republican projection. Right wing media has waged a propaganda war on Holloween that has most parents to scared to let their kids trick or treat.


        WTF? Wow, Some people with expretions like your saying is what is wrong. My county harbor bAd bad people, but nothing like the scum I see in your county walking all over eureka fortuna , McKinleyville arcata of course just saying

    • Well stated, Laura! Thank you


        I totally agree with Laura but most of the people I see you strolling around Humboldt are the same people that stroll around pelican Bay maybe worse who knows

    • WELL Stated!!!

    • i knew we were in serious trouble when playgrounds started to have rubber to fall on instead of the ground

    • I get what you’re saying, but as a parent of small kids, I will ALWAYS worry about their safety. Whether they are on the playground, at school/daycare or literally right next to me. It may be irrational, but I will never stop worrying or thinking about the worst that could happen. I try not to smother or stifle or make them fearful, but it will never NOT be a worry that something bad might happen. And in will always err on the side of caution in any situation.
      However, I also understand that there is more good (or at least not harmful) in the world than bad. I for sure try to teach my kids to have that mindset.

  • 🕯🌳Its still good to keep yourself on the alert 👁👁,but try and use some common sense. 🇺🇸🕯See it to on the same page.🤯🛸

  • Geez the internet rumor mill is something else. The Facebook post i saw said the man was in his 30s and the child was 3…

  • Thank you, lauracooksey, for your comments; you have said what I always want to say when people get righteous about parents who do anything less than keep their children under 24-hour surveillance — and in general, the expectation that we should all be safe from every possible risk at all times. I never had kids, but I’m sure that if I did, I would want them to always be safe. Not wanting to turn into a complete controlling nut case was one of the reasons I chose not to have kids. But if I had, I hope I would remember my own childhood, the joy of being able to meet my friends and roam around almost every day, as long as I told my mom where I was going with whom and came back by her deadline. Of course my parents screened my friends and their families and there were a list of places we were not allowed to go alone, but it still left us room for independent adventure. Maybe it was safer then, but I doubt it. We heard stories of kidnapped children and got the same warnings mentioned. I feel terribly sad for kids whose lives are so structured and whose parents are tracing their every movement via phone apps. No wonder so many escape into exciting online games; the allowed scope of the “real” world is getting more and more boring for kids.

    • This particular incident was observed and reported by a minor. They were riding around on a bike telling everyone out walking to BOLO. I spoke with them ten minutes before any police arrived in the neighborhood. They did everything they were supposed to do in a situation like this.

      • ” in a situation like this ” What situation?

        • When a child sees some thing suspicious, they should tell an adult. The adult should believe them and investigate. If the child is wrong, then that’s the best case scenario.

  • Burnt Roach (new handle)

    Not sure I agree with any of the comments here. Of course a parent worries about their kids. I have kids. I worry, but I don’t track them. The time I grew up in, late 50’s through 60’s, started as a time of innocence and ignorance, turning with the civil rights movement to an awaking that changed our society. Sure kidnaping occurred years ago. Humboldt had its own mass kidnappers/murderers back in the 70’s. The difference now seems to be the total lack of tolerance that appears to be the norm. The state of fear Local says Republicans want is the same thing I’ve heard Republicans say liberals want. Who’s right? Both sides need to take a step back, take four deep breaths, and try again.

    In this particular case I believe the Sheriff’s department got it right. The many homeless people throughout Eureka have made the area an uncomfortable place. Anyone stumbling around drunk and/or high in Eureka should be avoided. The article didn’t state the man was homeless, but it’s certainly possible. The homeless have been backed in to a corner, and everyone should be aware of what can happen when someone is backed in to a corner. Fist bumping between an adult and a minor may seem like an innocent thing, and perhaps it is, but these days are different from when I was a six year old.

    We just read last week of a young minor getting swept up in a situation that could have ended quite badly, but didn’t, due to luck. The village has disappeared, and parents are left raising their children on their own.

    When I was six years old I fell down and twisted my ankle. I was crying. When I heard a gentle voice asking me if I was all right, I looked up in to the eyes of a man of about 20 years of age. I’m white. He was black. I was so surprised I stopped crying, told him I thought I was ok. He told me I should go home and tell my parents. I did. This was Carbondale, Ill, a year before race riots broke out, and around the time McDonalds had sold 15 million hamburgers, and they cost 25 cents. Even with race riots around the corner a young black man stepped up to help a young white kid, risking possible misunderstanding, and worse.

    Thats the world I would like to see again. Thank you to the unknown black man .

  • If you don’t have kids please don’t comment about “if I had kids” because there is NO WAY YOU CAN UNDERSTAND what it’s like to be a parent. HUMAN TRAFFICKING is a major problem in the world today. I FEAR FOR ANYONE drunk or homeless or not, that attempts to approach my children in any way. Hell No!

  • More long-winded philosophy–just don’t read it if you’re tired of my opinions:
    I have three kids. I understand about worrying over them. It’s natural.
    But i was also a kid once myself. I know that even while in the single digits, i understood where home was, how to get there on time, and what NOT to do with a stranger.
    However, along the lines of possibilities of my own kids with strangers… even there, i would lean toward civility. I didn’t say “Don’t ever talk to strangers!” Heck, they’d see me chatting up a storm with people i met in a check-out line. I’d say, “Don’t GO anywhere with strangers, and don’t give out personal information like your name or number or where you live. It’s okay to be friendly.” Glad to say my children, and i would imagine most kids, were smart enough to make the right choices.
    I understand that there are parents who say, “No, they don’t need to learn anything with a risk factor. Any risk at all is too much. Don’t chance it!” And i just wonder how those kids are ever going to be adults, if not allowed to confront risks and make mistakes.
    I’m not talking about just the risks of strangers. One of my boys loved to climb. He was about two when he would take on redwood trees, steep cliffs, etc… and before he could walk he loved to climb ladders. I would be hovering around, “Oh be careful Honey! Maybe that’s not such a good idea!” I’m glad to say he had a dad who would intervene with, “Don’t teach him fear. He’s got an innate sense of self-preservation, and he’s got four limbs to hold on with. He’s not going to fall! Let him explore!”
    Which leads to the idea that feminine protection and comfort may be taking precedence over a more masculine sense of adventure and freedom in this world. (I’m pretty sure a balance of tendencies is best.) Unfortunately, another aspect of feminine methods is the prominence of shaming as a control. So moms get together and decide that nothing short of padded indoor prisons is safe or proper for children, and any mother who disagrees or allows any natural freedom or risk is vilified and shunned. It’s to the point where some people are more worried about the judgment they’d get if a child or animal were subjected to the risk of harm or loss, than about the risk itself.
    Thus we see these online forums with snippy and accusing parents trying to judge who is the worst or most irresponsible parent, the standard being who allows children the most freedom in this supposedly more-dangerous-than-ever world. (Please, anyone who believes it’s more dangerous than ever, with trafficking, etc.: pick up some newspapers from 60, 80 years ago. You won’t see a rosy, safe world. And that’s when the press didn’t even report, or people didn’t know, much of the horrible stuff that went on.)
    Well, that’s just more of my pondering the modern world. Don’t worry, i am a woman who cherishes feminine values. But something seems off-kilter lately.
    Pink Floyd: “Did you exchange a walk-on role in the war, for a lead role in a cage?”
    I never liked that line, because it seemed to offer only the choices of war or safety–and i hate war even more than i dislike cages. But it does offer the perspective that life might involve such choices, and to make a blanket decision to stay in the cage represents a fear of life, which is basically a fear of death.
    Religion, offering the promise of an afterlife, lightened that fear of death a little–to society as a whole, for centuries or millennia. As a non-believer, i am sad to see that a philosophical acceptance of the twinned conditions (life and death), as seen every day in Nature, does not seem to be replacing religious faith in affirming the ordained inevitability and okayness of death. We seem to be heading toward a mad freakout of humanity saying, “Life at all costs! Onward to mass immortality! Quantity, not quality, in all things!”
    It can’t work, and i don’t think we’d be happy if we achieved it.
    P.S. I doubt it’s a left/right or conservative/liberal issue. Control over death and control over others and their choices are things every political ideology seeks.

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