Man arrested trying to lure kids

By Paul Giblin and Jackie Leatherman
October 13, 2005

Gilbert, AZ. – Twenty-six schools in the Gilbert Unified School District
were locked down Thursday morning, and a man was arrested after police
say he tried to kidnap girls near elementary schools.

And in Fountain Hills, Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies were on the
lookout Thursday after a man tried to abduct an 11-year-old boy.

In Gilbert, police arrested Spencer Ray Baker on suspicion of aggravated
assault as he returned to his apartment at 2200 W. San Angelo St. about 1

Police said the arrest came after a man approached a 12-year-old girl
walking on South Islands Drive West toward Islands Elementary School, 245
S. McQueen Road about 8 a.m. He pulled up next to her in the car, said he
had a gun and demanded she get in. The girl saw the gun and ran until a
witness came to her aid and the man left.

About 20 minutes later, the man repeated the attempt with four girls
walking to school just south of Settler’s Point Elementary School, on
East Cypress Street near South Corrine Drive, police said. The girls
backed away from the car and there were other kids and an adult in the

The district placed 26 schools west of Recker Road on modified lockdown,
meaning classes continued, but no one was allowed to enter or leave, said
district spokeswoman Dianne Bowers.

In Fountain Hills, a boy was riding a scooter along San Marcos Drive to
friend’s house about 12:45 p.m. when a man wearing a black ski mask in a
parked car spoke to him, said deputy Doug Matteson.

He asked if he needed a ride. The boy said, No. And he said, Well, I’ll
give you a ride. And the boy said, “No,” and he took off, Matteson said.

The man is described as white, possibly Hispanic, and was driving a red,
four-door sedan with white stripes and no hubcaps.

Investigators were looking into possible links between the incident and
an attempted child abduction in Fountain Hills on Oct. 5, Matteson said.
In that incident, a man drove up to a bus stop near Gun Sight and La
Montana drives during the morning hours and began talking to a
10-year-old boy, according to the sheriff’s office. The boy turned down
his attempts and the man drove away.

He was described as white or light-skinned Hispanic with black hair, in
his mid- to late-20s. He was driving an older-model red pickup with an
extended cab.

Wednesday, Scottsdale police arrested Derek W. Herron, 20, in connection
with child-luring incidents Sept. 7 and Oct. 7 around Thunderbird Seventh
Day Adventist Academy, 7410 E. Sutton Drive. A man attempted to lure
girls, ages 12 and 15, into his car. The girls gave detailed descriptions
to police.

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