We begin with a young woman in custody tonight facing a felony charge of kidnapping. Police say the woman brazenly tried to walk off with a child in broad daylight at a local park earlier this week. What’s most unnerving about this story is it happened at likely the most popular public destinations for Bakersfield children this time of year.
Regulars at MLK park will tell you-it’s not really a place for kids and it’s rare you see any. But across the way, during the summer heat, there is one area of the park that’s flooded with children: the spray park.
That’s where a 2-year-old boy was Wednesday afternoon when police say a woman grabbed him and attempted to walk away. Park regulars watched the commotion from afar.
“It was kind of more like a low key argument cuz when I’m arguing everyone recognize my argument. It was like a little squabble here then I saw them walk away and a little squabble here,” said park regular Joyce Garrett.
But court documents say the squabble was a father physically having to fight to get his son back from 22-year old Felicia Ascencio-Guillen. Reports say she cradled the toddler in her arms and got about 15 feet before the boy’s father physically pulled the 2-year-old out of her arms after a struggle between him and Guillen. For the many families that frequent the spray park on hot summer days, the situation is alarming to say the least. “That’s crazy…for somebody to come and snatch your baby and think that’s okay, no it’s not. That’s scary,” said Cerelia Alva, a mother who attends the spray park regularly with her young children.
Felicia Ascencio-Guillen faces a felony charge of kidnapping. She’s been charged with several misdemeanors in recent years, including a mail theft arrest earlier this month.