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News / Clark County News

Vancouver man gets 60 days for trying to grab boy, 11, at lemonade stand

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: July 26, 2023, 4:41pm

A Vancouver man was sentenced Wednesday to 60 days credit for time served after trying to grab an 11-year-old boy from a lemonade stand at an east Vancouver apartment complex.

Benjamin M. Kelley, 36, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to unlawful imprisonment. He was originally charged with attempted second-degree kidnapping.

Judge Robert Lewis ordered the agreed-upon sentencing recommendation of 60 days, which Deputy Prosecutor Taylor Knight said Kelley has already served since his May 23 arrest.

Vancouver police responded at about 7 p.m. to the Avana One Zero Nine Apartments, 3708 N.E. 109th Ave. A man called 911 to report another man tried to take his son, but his son was able to break free of the man’s grip, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The father told officers he was inside his apartment when he got a call that a stranger tried to grab his son and stole things from his son’s lemonade stand. The father said he got into his car, picked up his son and went to look for the stranger, the affidavit states.

He said he found the man, later identified by police as Kelley, and confronted him. He told officers Kelley asked him what he could do to apologize, court records say.

The boy told police Kelley approached his lemonade stand and began telling him and his friend about a business opportunity. Kelley then walked up to him, he said, grabbed him by the arm and picked him up. He said he wiggled out of Kelley’s grip and ran away, according to the affidavit.

Afterward, the boy’s friend said Kelley tried to take his scooter, but he eventually dropped it. Kelley also grabbed several bags of chips and lemonade before leaving, court records state.