An Everson man has been arrested in connection with an incident last week that authorities first suspected was an attempted kidnapping.
Jose Rodriguez-Rene, 19, faces charges of attempted indecent liberties following his arrest Friday afternoon, Aug. 9. Sheriff's officials had sought him for questioning about an incident around noon Thursday, Aug. 8, in which a mother jogging with her infant in a stroller along Thiel Road near Abbott Road in Lynden was accosted by a man in a maroon-colored van.
A man later identified as Rodriguez-Rene cruised past her in the van several times, then parked and "engaged in lewd conduct and verbal comments" about her physical appearance, sheriff's officials said. During the exchange, he reached outside the van toward her.
The incident prompted a Thursday afternoon manhunt that included several deputies and a federal border agency helicopter. Drivers of similar vans were stopped and questioned.
Meanwhile, a nearby resident had recorded the license plate number of a van whose driver appeared to be acting suspiciously. The resident phoned authorities after learning of the incident involving the mother and her infant.
Deputies traced the van's license number to an address in the 1900 block of Hampton Road, Sheriff Bill Elfo said in an emailed statement. Rodriguez-Rene "was identified as the person who had accosted the victim," Elfo said.
"This is an excellent example of citizens being alert and reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement," Elfo said.
Information on the helicopter used in the search was corrected Aug. 12.