A Medford man accused of attempting to snatch a 5-year-old boy from his mother in west Medford last week was released from jail on his own recognizance.
Robert Vincent Jones, 47, was arraigned Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court before Judge Ben Bloom on a single misdemeanor count of harassment. Originally jailed June 10 on an attempted second-degree kidnapping charge as well, Jones will not have to face that charge because a grand jury on Thursday declined to indict on the felony offense.
Jones' public defender, Alyssa Bartholomew, entered a "not guilty" plea on behalf of her client for the Class B misdemeanor. Bartholomew also requested the court drop Jones' $250,000 bail requirement, citing his lack of criminal record.
Family members have stated that Jones has had a long struggle with mental illness. Jones' sister, Lori Scearcy, said Jones suffered a serious head injury in 1996 and also has bipolar disorder.
Bartholomew said Jones' family wants to have him placed in a stable environment with it, where his medications can be monitored.
"We want to get him in with family and in a treatment facility," she said.
Jones was arrested on June 10 after a woman reported Jones had grabbed her 5-year-old son while they were walking near the intersection of Monroe Avenue and Grape Street. Police said Jones tried to pull the boy into an orange Ford Mustang. Jones has been held in the Jackson County Jail on $250,000 bail since the incident.
"Everybody (in Jones' family) was shocked and amazed at the allegations," Bartholomew said.
Bloom said he was legally obligated to release Jones on his own recognizance based on the misdemeanor nature of his current charge. Bloom ordered Jones to remain with family, set a no-contact order with the alleged victim in the incident, and scheduled a pretrial hearing date for July 29.
Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email email@example.com.