UPDATE: Felon recaptured after second attempted SJ kidnap attempt in 72 hours
UPDATED: Thursday, Aug. 1, 1:19 p.m.
See Original and Updated Stories below.
SAN JACINTO — A felon who authorities say attempted to lure a child or children into his vehicle at the same San Jacinto intersection twice over a 72-hour period has been re-apprehended and is back in custody, according to officials.
Both alleged incidents happened in the area of Esplanade and San Jacinto avenues, and after the second incident officials asked for the public’s help locating the man.
LEADING THE STATE HEADLINES:
According to sheriff’s officials, the suspect, Billie Fenter, 40, first attempted to kidnap a 15-year-old child Sunday July 28. He was arrested a few hours later and booked into jail on a sole charge of annoying or molesting a child – a misdemeanor. To protect the victim and general public, deputies sought and obtained a bail enhancement, setting his bail at $50,000. Despite the bail enhancement, Fenter was released the following day after posting bond.
On Tuesday, July 30, just one day after being released from custody, Fenter was again spotted near the same intersection attempting to lure a child into his car.
Officials investigating the two alleged incidents have not specified if both attempted abductions involved the same teenage victim or different children.
Although officials conducted a “widespread search” for Fenter after the second alleged abduction attempt, they were not immediately able to locate the man, and asked for the public’s assistance finding him.
Fenter was ultimately located and rearrested in Moreno Valley around 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 31, and has since been re-booked into jail on suspicion of committing a crime while out on bail and attempted kidnapping – both felonies.
After hearing about Fenter’s two abduction attempts over a three day period, countless furious area residents expressed frustration over the alleged suspect’s release from custody. Many of them contacted RCNS to express their anger and disbelief that Fenter had been released so quickly after the first kidnapping attempt – just to commit a second attempted kidnapping at the same location within hours of his release on bail.
“I want to know why he was released the first time,” Lisa Marino, of Menifee, angril asked RCNS. “What is wrong with these judges today?”
Katrina Thompson agreed, asking RCNS, “Why do they keep letting these people out of jail? It’s like there are no (consequences) anymore for their actions.”
Most of those who contacted RCNS felt California’s laws had become laxed to the point where suspected offenders are often released within hours of their arrests, due to jail overcrowding and laws that have reduced what were once serious felonies to minor misdemeanors. Doing so has allowed countless alleged criminals to go free, often without serious consequences for their actions and without considering the dangers these suspects pose to area residents.
Hemet resident Grant Stoker angrily told RCNS, “If he straight up tries the next day after getting out he clearly just needs to be kept locked up.”
Menifee mom Tiffinee Martin agreed, writing, “Keep these (suspects) locked up!!!!! They re-offend in most cases!!!!!! Our children our are future we need to protect them.”
“We are almost living in anarchy,” Corona resident Chad Emery lamented. “So many people breaking the law and they just get to walk to do it again.”
San Jacinto father of three, Jim Grandeur summed it up best, telling RCNS, “Every time our courts release these suspected offenders, it is like they are saying the good, law abiding citizens of Riverside County don’t matter. What matters to them is protecting and coddling those who would seek to harm our community, our families, and our children.”
“Something needs to change, and change in a big way,” Grandeur continued. “Our current ‘justice system’ is all but irreparably broken and needs a complete, top to bottom overhaul. This is simply unacceptable and things need to change. And they need to change now, before another child is victimized.”
Officials have not released any further details about their ongoing investigation and jail records indicate Fenter remains in custody and now sits in cell at Cois Byrd Detention Center on $1 million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at Riverside’s Hall Of Justice, Aug. 2.
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 31, 5:12 p.m.
San Jacinto felon captured after second incident involving child
See original Story below.
SAN JACINTO — Authorities updated today that a San Jacinto felon wanted after a second attempt at kidnapping a child has been apprehended. Officials had been searching for the man, 40-year-old Billie Fenter, after he allegedly made two separate attempts to abduct a child or children over a three day period; first on Sunday, July 28, and again on Tuesday, July 30.
Both incidents happened in the area of Esplanade and San Jacinto avenues.
In a brief social media update, San Jacinto Sheriff’s officials said earlier today that Fenter had been apprehended and thanked the public for their help locating the wanted suspect.
“Investigators are working the case,” explained officials, saying they would be releasing additional information as it becomes available.
Original Story: SJ felon on the run after second incident involving child
SAN JACINTO — Authorities are asking for the public’s help locating a San Jacinto felon they allege attempted to lure children into his car twice over a three day period.
The first troubling incident happened in the area of Esplanade and San Jacinto avenues Sunday, July 28, while the second incident occurred near the exact same intersection Tuesday, July 30. Officials did not specify if the two incidents involved different children or the same child.
Although the alleged suspect was arrested and booked into jail after the first attempted kidnapping, the same man was spotted just one day after he was released on bail attempting to lure another child into his vehicle, according to officials. The man, 40-year-old Billie Fenter, has since disappeared and is on now the run from law enforcement and facing multiple new charges.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
Deputies assigned to San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station were alerted to reports of a child annoyance about 12:34 p.m., Sunday afternoon, July 28, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Tommy Mix later reported.
“The suspect was seen trying to lure a 15-year-old juvenile into his vehicle,” explained Mix.
Witnesses to the incident told investigating deputies that a man, later identified as Fenter, “was seen driving a black, 4-door, Nissan, sedan, with an Arizona license plate number CEJ2788,” Mix continued.
Billie Fenter is reportedly on the run, after officials allege he made two separate attempts to lure a child or children into his black Nissan Sentra. RSO photos
Deputies immediately began searching the area and shortly after 5 p.m., located Fenter and his vehicle at a residence on Meridian St. in San Jacinto.
Based on the witness statements, Fenter was arrested, and booked Cois Byrd Detention Center on suspicion of annoying and molesting a child.
“Due to the circumstances of the crime, a bail enhancement was sought by the deputies and was granted,” which set his bail at $50,000, according to Mix.
Despite the bail enhancement, Fenter managed to bail out of jail the day after his arrest, on July 29.
Just 48 hours after Fenter was arrested – and less than one full day after he was released on bail – deputies were again summoned to the area of Esplanade and San Jacinto avenues shortly after 5:30 p.m., after receiving reports of a second attempted kidnapping.
“The circumstances behind the attempt kidnapping were similar to those on Sunday, July 28th,” Mix reported this morning. “The witnesses and the victim described the suspect as a black, male, adult, approximately 30-40-years-old. Further they described the suspect last seen driving a black, Nissan sedan with an Arizona license plate.”
Because of the many striking similarities between the two back-to-back incidents, deputies checked and discovered Fenter had been released from jail the previous day.
“The victim positively identified Billy Fenter as the same suspect,” said Mix. “Deputies conducted a widespread search for Fenter, but they were unable to locate him.”
Riverside County Superior Court records indicated Fenter has an extensive criminal background in the county dating back to 2002.
The San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station is now asking for the public’s help with any information regarding the location of Billy Fenter and anyone with information about this investigation or who knows Fenter’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact San Jacinto Sheriff’s Deputy Bordeau at (951) 776-1099. Callers can refer to incident file numbers I192090045 or I192110063 and can remain anonymous.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he currently writes for or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, the (now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.