Crime & Courts

Kidnap-attempt case will go to trial

A woman took her son to a video game store, and said she turned around to see the 4-year-old boy walking away with a grown man.

The woman yelled and the boy ran back to her, she testified Oct. 1, 2009 in Sedgwick County District Court.

The clerk at the GameStop in Derby told a judge he noticed something suspicious about the man, and when he later watched the surveillance video, he called police to report that the man had tried to abduct the child.

After listening to the two witnesses and watching the video, Sedgwick County District Judge Joseph Bribiesca ordered Anthony Cantu, 21, to stand trial on a charge of attempted kidnapping.

Jason Phillips, the clerk at the GameStop, testified at the preliminary hearing that he'd seen Cantu talking to the mother and the boy.

"He was paying too much attention to the boy," Phillips said.

Why would Cantu want to take the boy from the store?

Prosecutor Marc Bennett pointed to two cases Cantu had as a juvenile, where he was convicted of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated criminal sodomy.

Those cases involved a 3-year-old child, and Bennett said those cases could indicate Cantu's intent.

Although Bribiesca said he didn't know whether Cantu's history would be admissible at trial, the judge could consider it in deciding if the case should proceed to trial.

Public defender Mark Rudy argued that there was no evidence showing Cantu intended to take the child from the store.

"The video clearly shows the defendant was leading the child in the direction of the door," Bribiesca said. "The video clearly shows that the defendant had his hand on the back of the child."