MENTONE – Neighbors and family members were able to free a 12-year-old girl who was nearly kidnapped Wednesday morning from a family gathering.
San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies caught up with Dewayne Forest King, 49, of Yucaipa, who was arrested after speeding away from the Friendly Hills Mobile Home Park in the 2100 block of Mentone Boulevard. King and the victim are related, although police did not reveal how, citing their wish to protect her identity.
Witnesses and family members saw that King asked the girl for a hug while seated in his car. As she leaned into the car, he held onto her and started to drive away, according to sheriff’s reports. Screams from the girl and from her mother alerted the girl’s older brother who chased after King.
Neighbors and family forced the girl out of King’s grip, at which time he sped away. Deputies from the department’s Yucaipa substation arrived in time to stop King on Mentone Boulevard, north of the mobile home park.
“King was there apparently to visit,” said Jodi Miller, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department. “He asked her for a hug and that’s when he started to leave.”
Miller said the incident was resolved “within minutes.”
Several people who were involved in the rescue effort were treated at the scene for minor injuries. The victim, said Miller, “wasn’t hurt at all.”
King, who is being held on $250,000 bail, was taken to West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on charges of kidnapping, assault with injury and felony child endangerment.
Mentone is a small city located between Yucaipa and Redlands.