Man initially accused of kidnapping to be arraigned on harassment only

Robert Vincent Jones

Medford man arrested for allegedly trying to snatch a 5-year-old boy from his mother in west Medford last week won't face kidnapping charges.

Robert Vincent Jones, 47, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on a single charge of harassment, said prosecutor Adam Peterson.

Jones was arrested on second-degree kidnapping and harassment charges on June 10 shortly after a woman reported Jones grabbed her 5-year old son while they were walking near the intersection of Monroe and Grape streets. Police reported last week that Jones tried to pull the boy into an orange Ford Mustang. He has been held in Jackson County Jail on $250,000 bail.

A grand jury on Thursday declined to indict Jones on the kidnapping charge after hearing testimony from the police detective on the case, and the boy's mother, Peterson said.

"The grand jury deliberates in private," he said. "I have no idea how they came to their decision."

Police said Jones allegedly stopped his vehicle in the street and offered the victims a Bible and a sip from his drink. Then he grabbed the child and told the mother he was going to take him, police said. The mother intervened, and the pair escaped to her nearby car. Jones allegedly fled the scene as the mother called police from her cellphone, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.

If convicted of the harassment charge, Jones could face a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail, Peterson said.

Family members have stated Jones has a long history of mental illness, including a bipolar disorder.

Budreau said Medford police crossed paths with Jones on May 31 when police were called to an apartment on Crater Lake Avenue. Jones had locked himself in a bathroom and made suicidal threats. Officers took him to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center's psychiatric unit for assessment, Budreau said.

— Sanne Specht

Read more in Wednesday's Mail Tribune.

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