CRIME BRIEFS – Dec. 22, 2016

A■ By Staff Reports / The Valley Chronicle

HPD takes suicidal man into custody

suicidal man wielding a knife was safely subdued and taken into custody Dec. 17 in the 200 block of S. State St in Hemet.
A 911 call reported that a man was cutting himself with a knife and threatening to kill himself. The man, who was bleeding heavily from his face, legs and arms, was also threatening to kill officers or anyone else who tried to help him.
While some officers were negotiating with the subject, other officers began evacuating nearby residences. During negotiations, he began cutting himself on his neck and chest.
Officers ultimately subdued the man with a tazer deployment and took him into protective custody.
Other than the man’s self-inflicted wounds, there were no reported injuries to citizens or police officers.

Photo courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Robert Francis Baker of Hemet was arrested in August after he was allegedly caught in the act of harassing a 12-year-old girl.

Hemet sex offender faces trial for attempted kidnapping

A 68-year-old convicted sex offender accused of trying to coax a 12-year-old Temecula girl into his car must stand trial for attempted kidnapping to commit rape and other charges, a judge ruled Monday.
Robert Francis Baker of Hemet was arrested in August after he was allegedly caught in the act of harassing the victim, whose name was not disclosed.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dennis McConaghy found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for Baker on the attempted kidnapping count, as well as annoying a child and two counts of possessing child pornography.
McConaghy scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Dec. 27 and left Baker’s bail set at $1.5 million. Baker is being held at the Southwest Detention Center.
According to sheriff’s officials, on the afternoon of Aug. 12, an off- duty deputy was driving through the area of Pauba Road and Linfield Way when he noticed a motorist — later identified as Baker — accosting the victim as she walked along the sidewalk.
Baker allegedly followed the girl, trying to persuade her to get into his car, investigators said.
The off-duty deputy came to the child’s aid, ordered Baker out of the vehicle and detained him until other deputies arrived.
Based on the girl’s statements, what the deputy witnessed and the fact that Baker was a registered sex offender, he was arrested at the scene.
According to court records, the defendant was convicted in 1993 of multiple counts of lewd acts on a minor.

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