A 69-year-old man on probation for drug-related charges was arrested after he allegedly grabbed a Winters middle school student as she was walking to school.
Winters police officers were called to the area of Winters Middle School at 7:44 a.m. regarding a report that a man had grabbed a girl by her backpack as she walked to school. The girl ran to the school office and reported the incident to school employees, according to a Police Department news release.
Officers detained a man who matched the description of the man who reportedly grabbed the student. Police identified him as 69-year-old Steven Thomas Long of Winters, who was determined to be on probation in Yolo County for drug-related charges. The girl identified Long as the man who grabbed her, although Long denied grabbing or even speaking to the student, the news release said.
Two other juveniles contacted by police at the school office told officers they saw Long in the area about five minutes after the incident but before police were contacted. They said Long walked toward them but did not speak to them. The juveniles told police Long was standing in the street acting strange, waving his arms and talking to himself, so they ran past him to the school office and reported his behavior to school staff members.
Based on the girl’s statement that Long grabbed her backpack and physically moved her a few feet against her will, police arrested Long on suspicion of kidnapping and for violating probation, the news release said. He was booked into Yolo County jail.
Police contacted Winters Unified School District administrators, who sent an alert to parents notifying them of the incident and encouraging them to talk to their children about the importance of being aware of their surroundings and reporting suspicious activity to adults.