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Kidnapping suspect out on bond
Restrictions on travel tight for man accused of approaching 10-year-old
1202Dwayne Seibel
Dwayne Curtiss Seibel

A man accused of trying to kidnap a 10-year-old boy he did not know will report to court this week as part of a stringent set of bond conditions.

Dwayne Curtiss Seibel, 51, was released from jail on $60,000 bond Nov. 23 following his indictment on charges of criminal attempt to commit kidnapping, cruelty to a child, interference with custody and loitering.

As part of the conditions of bond imposed by Hall County Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin, Seibel must report to court every two weeks, with his first status hearing scheduled for Thursday morning. He is under a 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew at his Claude Parks Road home and is restricted to driving to and from work, religious services or for medical care.

Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Sykes said while prosecutors opposed bond during a Nov. 20 hearing, they understood it was likely to be granted because of Seibel’s ties to the community and lack of any prior criminal record.

On Nov. 1, a 10-year-old boy who lives at the Overlook in North Hall subdivision said he was approached by a stranger in a pickup truck who told him to get in the truck. The boy ran away and the man drove off.

In response to the incident, deputies stepped up patrols of the area around Herbert Stephens Road and distributed a composite sketch of the suspect.

A week later, a resident of the subdivision spotted a suspicious truck in the neighborhood and took down the tag number.

Using the tag information, Hall County Sheriff’s officials went to Seibel’s home, where he was arrested without incident, Col. Jeff Strickland said. Seibel later gave a statement to detectives.

A Hall County grand jury indicted Seibel on Nov. 18.

Sykes, the prosecutor, said she spoke with the boy’s mother and another witness from the neighborhood prior to the bond hearing and explained that bond would likely be granted in the case.

In deciding bond, a judge must consider whether there is clear and convincing evidence that a defendant poses the risk of committing another felony or intimidating witnesses, and whether he is a risk of fleeing the jurisdiction to avoid prosecution.

Seibel lives with his wife and adult son in Murrayville and has held a steady job at a Gainesville machining shop. A defense attorney would likely argue that those ties to the community show he is not a flight risk.

An extensive check of law enforcement records in Georgia and in California, where Seibel lived until the mid-1990s, turned up no prior criminal history beyond a few minor traffic citations, Sykes said.

Seibel’s current employer and a previous supervisor testified at his bond hearing, Sykes said.

The district attorney’s office requested and was granted 18 conditions to Seibel’s bond, which stops short of requiring an electronic ankle monitor.

Seibel is required to drive only on Ga. 60 as much as possible and avoid straying too far from that road. He can’t drive into any residential subdivisions or onto any school property. Photographs of his three cars — a Ford F-250 truck, a Mercury Mountaineer and a Ford Ranger — have been distributed to patrol deputies and local school officials.

"These conditions are in place to protect the victim," Sykes said. "If anything happens, we’ll be right on top of it."

Messages left at Seibel’s home and at the office of his attorney, Dan Sammons, were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Abductions of children by strangers, what the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children terms "stereotypical kidnappings," are rare. The center cites a 2002 U.S. Department of Justice study showing that of 797,000 children reported missing, 115 were the victims of stereotypical kidnappings by strangers.

"Less than 1 percent of all missing children fall into that category," said the center’s director of case analysis, Kristen Anderson.

There are far more attempted abductions than stereotypical kidnappings, Anderson said.

From February 2005 to October 2009, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recorded 3,500 confirmed attempted child abductions by strangers. In those 3,500 cases, 990 arrests were made. About half of those arrested were repeat offenders and 185 were registered sex offenders, Anderson said.

"The good news is they fail a lot more than they succeed," Anderson said. "The bad news, from what we know about these offenders, is they keep trying."

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