Child kidnap suspects appear in court
Two men accused of child kidnapping and aggravated robbery Christmas night, made an initial appearance in court Monday morning.
Gustavo Vasquez-Nava, 19, and Ruben Anthony Morales, 28, appeared in Summit County’s Third District Court on Monday and were formally charged with child kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and failure to stop at law enforcement officers’ commands, according to Summit County Prosecutor Matthew Bates.
Child kidnapping and aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony, while failure to stop at a law enforcement officers’ command is a class A misdemeanor. Child kidnapping is punishable by a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
Both suspects were appointed public defenders. Morales was appointed John Johnson and Vasquez-Nava was appointed Paul Quinlan. They are currently being held on $100,000 bond in the Summit County Jail.
Vasquez-Nava and Morales are scheduled to appear again in Third District Court Monday, Jan. 5, at 9 a.m.
The suspects were arrested Friday, Dec. 26 after leading Park City police officers on a short foot chase.
Park City police officers a green Isuzu Rodeo parked in an alleyway near the Top Stop Convenience Store, 2010 Park Avenue, in Park City, after a vehicle matching the SUV’s description was reported as stolen in connection with an 11-year-old male child’s kidnapping.
While one of the suspects was purchasing alcohol inside the convenience store, Park City police officers approached the vehicle. The passenger fled on foot, before being tased into compliance by police officers. The other suspect ran from the store and jumped over a wall, possibly breaking his leg, before surrendering to officers.
The child, who had been reported missing from the Elk Meadows apartment complex in the Snyderville Basin at approximately 12:30 a.m., was located in the backseat of the stolen vehicle.
The child was reportedly approached by the suspects in the parking lot of the apartment complex when they demanded money from him. Vasquez-Nava and Morales then grabbed the boy by the nape of his neck and threw him in the vehicle, with his hood pulled over his eyes.
The two suspects continued to drive around the area until eventually being stopped by Park City police officers, who determined their vehicle matched the stolen SUV’s description.
Summit County and Park City’s elected leaders celebrated Earth Day by attending the signing of the Community Renewable Energy Act.