Accused Kidnapper Tried Before; Went After Girls In Dinuba
DINUBA, Calif. (KMPH) —
Authorities believe the man accused of kidnapping and raping a 10-year-old Fresno girl would have done it again, because they believe he's done it before.
Dinuba Police arrested Kalvin Cardenas back in May.
They say he tried to grab four little girls.
People in the community thought he had been behind bars all this time, until he was arrested again Wednesday.
"I think it was pretty bad. I mean they had him, they had all those girls those witnesses saying they tried to get him. And they just let him go," said Steve Espino, a parent in Dinuba.
"We assumed he'd be charged and at least put back behind bars for a while," said Linda Renn, the editor of The Dinuba Sentinel.
She wrote a story in May about Cardenas' arrest after police say he tried to kidnap several girls near Lincoln Elementary School in Dinuba.
One girl ran into the school and got help.
"And the custodian of the school thwarted the kidnapping. The man was arrested. It was also a brown pickup and young man. I went and looked up back copies of The Sentinel...and I saw there were too many similarities," said Renn.
So she called Fresno County detectives Tuesday night and gave them the tip that eventually led to an arrest.
"We were able to give them a name so they can track him down," said Renn.
Hours later, deputies surrounded a house in Clovis and eventually arrested Cardenas on kidnapping and sexual assault charges.
"I was happy to have helped but saddened because a little girl had been hurt," said Renn.
The question now: Why wasn't Cardenas behind bars for what happened in May?
When Dinuba Police arrested Cardenas in May, it was for felony annoying a child, since he didn't get away with the kidnapping.
However, the Tulare County District Attorney's office tells KMPH, it chose not to file charges against Cardenas at the time, and gave the case back to Dinuba Police to collect more evidence.
A detective for the Dinuba Police Department tells KMPH, the case was re-submitted to the Tulare County D. A.'s office Wednesday afternoon.