Like something out of an 1980s kid-buddy movie or the Netflix series Stranger Things, a group of neighborhood kids came to the defense of a 4-year-old girl after a man with a history of odd behavior allegedly tried to abduct her. The Kenosha News reports 27-year-old Benjamin Spasogevich-Lee of Kenosha, Wisconsin is being held on $15,000 bond after being charged with abduction of a child and disorderly conduct. Were it not for the quick thinking playmates, this story could have had a much more sinister ending.
According to the criminal complaint, on the evening of May 18 multiple witnesses said Spasogevich-Lee, who is known to neighbors as “Eli,” grabbed the young girl and "attempted to drag her away." Fortunately, the other neighborhood kids playing on the block weren’t about to let that happen. Neighbor Jada Miller told Fox 6 in Milwaukee "Kids started coming up to me, saying, ‘Jada, Eli has Caylee. He has Caylee. I started freaking out, so I ran down there and grabbed her by her arm.” Another child then notified Caylee’s father, Jeff Carr, who said "I was so happy once they told me what happened. I was furious. But I settled down and called the cops."
Spasogevich-Lee claims he never touched the girl, but according to the criminal complaint, admitted to police that he talked to her and that his phone contained “wrongful, sexually explicit stuff.” According to NBC affiliate TMJ4, neighbors have reported a series of troubling encounters with the young man since he moved into the area with his family several months ago. They claim he has been seen doing yoga in his frontyard, wearing only his underwear, and police also say he approached a group of kids a few weeks ago and told them they could be kidnapped or raped, then reportedly explained to them what rape is.
In fact, this latest incident is the second time Spasogevich-Lee has been arrested for kidnapping. According to prosecutors, he was taken into custody for an alleged kidnapping in 2010, however, the charge in that case was eventually reduced to disorderly conduct. Spasogevich-Lee’s defense attorney Michael Masnica claims his client suffers from mental illness and that family members say he recently stopped taking his mental health medications. He reiterated Spasogevich-Lee’s innocence, and has asked for a competency hearing.
[Photo: Kenosha Police]