Spokane Valley Deputies investigated a report of a male who attempted to lure a 9-year-old victim away from the trampoline park, even offering $150 if the child went with him, but the child declined. The suspect, 21-year-old Ryan D. Higginbotham, was arrested, charged with Attempted Kidnapping 2nd Degree.
On February 19, 2020, Spokane Valley Deputies continued to investigate information received from the mother of a 9-year-old boy. She reported her son was at a trampoline park in Spokane Valley on the evening of February 17, 2020. When she picked her son (victim) up, he said an employee, later identified as Higginbotham, said he needed help with his vehicle. Higginbotham wanted the victim to go with him to a car wash and even offered the child $150 if he did. The victim smartly said no, but afterward, Higginbotham followed him around the park, so he told another employee.
The victim’s mother confirmed she did not know Higginbotham, and she never gave permission for Higginbotham or anyone else to take her child anywhere. She contacted the business the next day to ensure they were aware of the incident and learned Higginbotham was no longer employed at the company.
Deputies contacted a manager at the trampoline park, and she advised Higginbotham was no longer an employee. She explained that after the mother of the victim contacted the business to report the incident, as the manager, she contacted Higginbotham. During her conversation with Higginbotham, he admitted asking the victim to go out to his car, to go with him to a car wash to clean his car, and that he offered the child $150 to do so.
As the investigation continued, Deputies contacted Higginbotham. During the subsequent conversation, Higginbotham stated he knew why the Deputies were contacting him. He said when he was at work; he liked to joke with the kids to make them feel more comfortable and have fun. Higginbotham said he told a kid that the child should wash his car, but he was only joking. Higginbotham denied ever offering money and had no intention of taking the child anywhere.
With this information, combined with additional information learned during the entire investigation, Deputies developed probable cause to arrest Higginbotham for the crime of Attempted Kidnapping 2nd Degree. He was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for that charge, with a bond set at $500,000.
Corporal Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer