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Wautoma police chief praises community for helping track down attempted child abduction suspect

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 06, 2024

WAUTOMA (NBC 26) — The Wautoma Police Department say charges are pending against a man suspected of attempted child abduction at a popular park in the area.

  • The Wautoma Police Department responded to a call saying a man was acting suspiciously at Bird Creek Park.
  • Witnesses say the man attempted to lure multiple children into the woods.
  • "I am extremely grateful for the community," said Chief Paul Mott.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story, with additional details for the web)

Police Chief Paul Mott says he didn't expect this to happen in Wautoma.

“We’re a small town, a small community," he says. "Not a lot of crime. Everybody knows everybody.”

However, on Wednesday afternoon, he says the Wautoma Police Department received a call about a man who was attempting attempting to lure children away from the swing sets at Bird Creek Park and into the woods with him.

Chief Mott says he spoke with the kids who were at the park that day.

"He had told them that he wanted to take the children to see god."

Chief Mott says the children also told him the suspect made claims saying that, he was "God," his wife was Jesus, he was 10,000 years old, and that he had just escaped prison.

Chief Mott continued on to say that suspect repeatedly tried to coerce the kids to follow him by playing music videos on his phone and offering them candy.

He also says one of the kids told him the man tried to force a child into the woods before he was spotted by witnesses nearby.

"There was a parent out there filming her children. In the background happened to be our suspect doing the things he had been reported as doing."

Chief Mott says the community submitted hundreds of tips, which led to the man's arrest.

"I am extremely grateful for the community coming out and providing the information we needed so that we could capture the suspect."

Chief Mott says the suspect has not yet been formally charged, but is currently being held in the Waushara County Jail. The Waushara County District Attorney's Office says he is expected to appear in court Friday afternoon.