Watchful neighbor averts tragedy

Saturday, July 17, 2004 – 12:00 AM   |
Justin Hill DAILY HERALD

The watchful eye of a retired Springville reserve police officer — a man
who neighbors say watches over their families — has delivered a pair of
Springville sisters safely home after a man allegedly tried to abduct
them.

The observant neighbor, who lives across the street from the girls,
called the police Thursday about 12:15 p.  m. after noticing what he
described as a suspicious man talking to two sisters, ages 12 and 7, in
the back yard of their Springville home near 700 East and 200 North, said
Springville Police Lt. Dave Caron.

The man, Jimmy Davidson Guard, 25, of Provo was walking with the
7-year-old toward his Hyundai Santa Fe when police arrived, Caron said.

In Guard’s vehicle, police found two Slurpees, a hatchet under the front
seat, a video camera with a new videotape and tripod, duct tape, latex
gloves, condoms and other sexually oriented items, large baby wipes,
broken-up pills in a contact lens case and a mirror with white powder on
it, Caron said.

“Without him (the retired officer) I don’t know what would have
happened,” said Megan Muir, who wanted to honor the man. Her five
children are good friends with the two sisters. “It’s just scary knowing
their best friends were caught in that.”

Police and a neighbor said the retired officer did not want to speak to
the media.

On Friday, Guard was being held on $250,000 cash-only bail in Utah County
Jail. He was booked into jail on several charges, including two counts of
attempted kidnapping.

The pills, powder and Slurpees were taken to the state crime lab to
determine what the substance is and whether anything was put in the
beverages. Police believe that the pills are a medicine used to treat
schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which are sometimes used as sleeping
pills.

“I shudder to think what could have happened,” Caron said. The retired
officer “probably averted a real tragedy.”

Just last week, Springville police arrested Loy Dean Vondette, 43, of
Rifle, Colo., after they say he approached a pair of 6-year-old girls
selling lemonade near the corner of 300 East and 200 South in
Springville. The girls then ran home screaming and were not hurt.

Vondette was convicted in 1994 for enticement of a child and attempted
wrongs to a child, according to Colorado’s convicted sex offender site.

Springville police had not found a criminal history for Guard as of
Friday night. Guard told police he was born in Haiti and had been living
with his cousin for about a month and a half.

“His cousin was shocked,” Caron said.

Guard was stopped for a traffic violation within the past week in Provo
and gave a Salt Lake City address, according to police.

But on Thursday he was in Springville. Guard told police he saw the girls
at the park and was concerned, Caron said. He followed the girls home,
left and came back, Caron said.

Guard told police he bought the Slurpees for the girls, Caron said.

The man who saw Guard talking to the girls told police the suspect’s car
was parked down the street and around the corner, Caron said.

“It’s pretty sick,” said Troy Curtis, who lives in the area of the
incident with his girlfriend and her daughter, Kelcie Collett, 7. “She’s
not walking to her friend’s house without me and my dog there.”

Copyright – Daily Herald 2004

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