Crime & Courts

Wichita man jailed, accused of kidnapping and battery at Wineteer Elementary in Derby

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

A 38-year-old Wichita man remained in jail Wednesday after crashing a stolen truck and grabbing Wineteer Elementary School students, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office said.

Tyler James DeBarea was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping, battery and criminal threat after being found walking on Webb Road near the school. His bond was set at $25,000. The sheriff’s office responded to the school in southeast Wichita around 11:40 a.m. after a call about a suspicious person in the parking lot. The man then stole a truck from the nearby McConnell Air Force Base and crashed it into the gate of base housing near the school, according to a press release. Anchored, concrete-filled pipes stopped the truck.

According to the news release: The man then jumped the fence and went back to the elementary school while officers were going door to door in the housing complex. He went into the playground area and grabbed at children. Five children, ages 7 to 8, reported being harassed.

“He physically grabbed their shirt and I think grabbed one of their arms,” Lt. Tim Myers said.

Myers said teachers did intervene but he didn’t know the extent. Court records show a Tyler James DeBarea of the same age was convicted in 2017 for fleeing and eluding.

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