After visiting downtown over the weekend, a young family is scared because a homeless man is suspected of attempting to kidnap their kids close to Minute Maid Park.
After the Cinco de Mayo procession on Saturday, the incident took place in the 1600 block of Congress at North Jackson. After being detained, 32-year-old Devin Neal was charged with attempted kidnapping. He grabbed and dragged a wagon in which a 1-year-old and his 3-year-old sibling sat. Twice, their father shoved him aside.
Neal allegedly returned after that and grabbed the infant to get him out of the wagon. When their father again stepped in, according to court documents, Neal allegedly struck the man numerous times with a closed hand.
“The allegations in this case are terrifying,” a criminal law hearing officer said during Neal’s probable cause hearing. Neal did not appear in person because she said he was “combative.”
While their mother rushed to safety with the children, their father was able to force Neal into the bushes, and the neighborhood police became involved. When contacted by fox26houston News on Tuesday, the father stated that he was still processing what had transpired despite having scratches and bruises.
“He has an extensive history of violence and threats of violence,” the hearing officer said. “We have this extensive history of violence, this extreme danger to the community, particularly to a vulnerable segment of the community, namely children.”
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Neal was found guilty of felony harassment of a public employee in 2020 and felony assault of a family member by restricting breath in 2016. Neal has a $125,000 bond and is being detained in custody. According to records, he was declared poor and has a court-appointed lawyer.
FOX26Houston tweeted that A Houston man was arrested for Attempted Kidnapping after a police report said he attempted to kidnap a child near Minute Maid Park. You can see below:
A Houston man was arrested for Attempted Kidnapping after a police report says he attempted to kidnap a child near Minute Maid Park. https://t.co/1X96WspYXw
— FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) May 9, 2023
Since bond is secured, one of the conditions for his release is house arrest, which the hearing office claimed is not really feasible since he is homeless, increasing his danger to the community. Neal will probably appear in court on Wednesday.