After an hours-long search around the Coweeman River, Kelso police arrested a Kelso man Wednesday evening after he allegedly tried to lure away a 12-year-old and separately assaulted someone, according to police.
Jordan Lee Hotchkiss, 43, of Kelso was arrested on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping attempt and fourth-degree assault.
Kelso Police Capt. Rich Fletcher said a caller reported a subject, later identified as Hotchkiss, attempted to lure a 12-year-old to a "secreted area" after asking him if he was a child of a police officer.
"We don't know if that was the motivation, but awfully coincidentally that he didn't try to do that until after that question," Fletcher said.
A passing driver saw the child trying to get away, stopped to help him and took him to a different location, Fletcher said.
During that time, Hotchkiss allegedly assaulted an unrelated person by the Kelso Red Lion, Fletcher said. A Cowlitz County sheriff's deputy saw the incident and reported it to Kelso police, who later learned Hotchkiss was the attempted kidnapping suspect, he said.
Police tried to stop Hotchkiss, but he fled and hid in a wooded area around the Coweeman River near Valley View Drive, Fletcher said. About 12 officers, two K9s and a drone searched for him for about three or four hours, Fletcher said.