by: Kevin McCarty Updated:
A man accused of trying to kidnap a 2-year-old boy in Tacoma was arrested two months ago for trying to break into a neighbor’s home, but was never charged. Eric Markley said Leroy Freimuth came to his home when Markley’s wife was alone with their children on April 6, trying to get into the door and muttering strange things. “Where’s the magic at? All this other stuff and just all this weird meth nonsense,” said Markley. “It was frightening.”
Freimuth was charged with attempted kidnapping and assault on Monday. Police said he tried to grab a 2-year-old boy in Tacoma’s Lincoln park, but was stopped by the child’s teenage babysitter. Police said Freimuth was muttering incoherently before officers arrived to arrest him. According to a probable cause affidavit, Freimuth started counting the kids in the park and chanting to himself, "I can do this I can do this."
“He was talking very non-sensical. But his intent to take a toddler seemed very clear,” said Tacoma police spokeswoman Officer Loretta Cool.
Freimuth pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping and assault and was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Markley said when his wife refused to let Freimuth into the home, he became threatening. “She shut the door in time and locked it and he started kicking it and he started saying things like, if you just open the door I’ll make it easier on you guys,” said Markley.
Markley said Tacoma police officers arrived and arrested Freimuth, but he was later told he would only be held 72 hours for a mental health evaluation. Freimuth has a minor criminal record that includes two misdemeanors and three non-violent felonies, including a drug possession conviction. Markley said he’s concerned Freimuth could be set free again and pose a threat to the community.
“It’s infuriating and heartbreaking and frustrating all at the same time because there’s not much I, as a citizen, can do about it,” said Markley.