When you call 911 to report that a stranger just tried to kidnap your baby, and that your brother and your neighbor have detained the suspect, you probably expect police officers to show up very quickly. However, this was not the case for Rachel and her family.
On the morning of Saturday, December 12, 2015, Rachel and her family were at their home, in the 900 block of South Wichita Street, just south of Kellogg near Main St., loading up a U-Haul vehicle for their impending move to Nebraska.
Rachel’s husband had just put the couple’s one-year-old son into his car seat when he realized he had forgotten the child’s sippy cup. He ran back inside to get the cup, as Rachel’s brother was coming in and out with boxes to load for the move.
Within thirty seconds, a 48-year-old parolee, Marvin Lee Park, walked up and stole the couple’s 2007 Suburu Forester, with the one-year-old secured in the backseat. A neighbor saw the theft take place and informed Rachel’s brother who came outside just after.
Park, who records show was released from prison just one month prior, on November 13, 2015, drove the car north to the end of the block, and then saw police officers near Gander Mountain, so he turned around, heading back towards Rachel’s home.
Rachel, unaware of what was taking place, saw her brother run inside, grab a mop handle (the nearest plausible weapon), and run back outside. Finding this behavior somewhat odd, Rachel followed her brother outside, where she observed him swinging the mop handle like a bat, striking the windshield of their stolen, oncoming vehicle.
The Suburu stopped, and Park jumped out and began to fight with Rachel’s brother. The neighbor saw this unfolding, and ran over to assist. Park ran about halfway down the block, and then stopped to again fight with Rachel’s brother, and was then tackled by the neighbor.
The men held Park down, and Rachel called the 911. While her brother and the neighbor struggled to detain Park, Rachel’s father, stepmother, and cousins arrived at her home. After four calls to 911, and a 45-minute wait, Wichita police officers finally arrived on the scene and took Park into custody.
The Wichita Police Department South Substation is less than five minutes away from Rachel’s home, and that time can be shortened considerably with the use of sirens.
One of the officers informed the family that it was illegal for private citizens to detain another person, as if Rachel’s brother and her neighbor might be arrested. But the other officer assured the family that only Park would be going to jail.
Records show that Marvin Lee Park was booked into the Sedgwick County Detention Facility on December 12, just one month after his release from prison for aggravated burglary and drug charges. Park was initially charged with kidnapping, theft, aggravated child endangerment, and driving while suspended.
Park is now being held on a $25,000 bond for the theft charge, and still faces the child endangerment charge, but the bond is irrelevant because he is also being held on a parole violation, and will presumably be returned to prison.