ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Arkansas City police credit a young boy’s quick actions for helping them track down a wanted man.
On October 4, police say a man followed a boy, 10, from a bus stop at Fillmore Avenue and B Street to his home a few blocks away.
“When he got off the bus he noticed an individual was over by the ball diamonds and noticed the person was following him. He kind of picked up his pace a bit to try and put some distance between him and noticed the individual had sped up too,” said Arkansas City Police Chief Daniel Ward.
Ward said when the boy got to his house, the man asked the boy if he could come inside the home.
“The boy said no, got in the house, locked the door and pulled the curtain back and took a picture of the individual,” Ward said.
Ward said the boy’s picture of the man helped them identify the individual in the case as Dustin Shane Stalder, 34, a registered sex offender with an active warrant out for his arrest.
“This 10-year-old, I think could be a police officer in the making,” Ward said.
“You know, some parents have issues with their kids having cell phones at this age, but that kid did exactly the right thing. He went straight home. He took a picture of him when he wouldn’t quit following him. He turned it into the police. He did everything right,” said Jeri Crull.
Jeri Crull is a mom of eight children. She said her son was walking with the boy from the bus stop when Stalder started following them.
“When my son came this way, the car continued to follow the boy to his house and it scared the little boy and he took a picture of him and let everybody in the neighborhood know,” Crull said.
After the incident Crull said she started taking kids and picking up kids from the bus stop as a safety precaution.
“Eery morning we gather up the neighborhood kids and set at the bus stop until the bus comes and then in the afternoon we pick them up from the bus stop and bring them back to the houses,” she said.
Crull and other parents in the area shared the picture the boy took with the kids in the neighborhood.
“Then we could identify who it was and we could let all the kids see who it was so that they could look out for the same person and the police could look out for him as well,” she said.
Stalder was arrested by Wellington police on Tuesday evening and booked into the Sumner County jail.
Stalder was a Department of Corrections absconder and was last registered as a sex offender in Sedgwick County. Stalder had an active warrant for his arrest through the Topeka Department of Corrections for a parole violation.