Spokane Valley sheriff’s deputies arrested a man suspected of attempting to lure a 9-year-old boy away from a trampoline park using an offer of $150 on Monday evening.
The suspect, 21-year-old Ryan D. Higginbotham, a since-fired employee at Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park, was arrested Wednesday night, according to jail records and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
The child, who declined to leave the trampoline park, told his mother that an employee had asked him for help with his vehicle and wanted him to go with him to a car wash, according to a news release. Higginbotham allegedly offered the child $150 when he declined. The child said the employee continued to follow him around the park.
The victim’s mother reported the incident and confirmed she did not know Higginbotham, according to the news release. A trampoline park manager told deputies she fired Higginbotham after he admitted to asking the victim to go out to his car and offering the child $150.
Higginbotham told deputies he was joking with the victim and often made jokes to kids to help them have fun, according to the news release. He denied ever offering money to the child and told deputies he had no intention of taking him anywhere.
Higginbotham was booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of attempted second-degree kidnapping.
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