General Crime

* Concord Prosecutors Do Not File Charges For Kidnapping Of Four Year-Old By Jose Camal

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Prosecutors declined to file charges today against a 35-year-old transient who was arrested Monday for allegedly kidnapping a 4-year-old boy from in front of his home in Concord, Lt. Jim Lardieri said.Deputy District Attorney Jon Yamaguchi said the case was “bizarre”, but that there was no evidence of any criminal intent on the part of Jose Camal, the man accused of taking the child.The child had been playing outside his apartment on Meadow Lane with his mother nearby shortly after 5 p.m.The boy’s mother told investigators that she was cooking and kept going in and out of her apartment to check on the food. Each time she went inside she brought her son with her, except for the last time, Yamaguchi said.When she came back out, the boy was gone.The mother checked a nearby shopping center but didn’t find her son, so she returned home and called police, Lardieri said.Within about 30 minutes, a family member found the boy walkingthrough the shopping center and returned him to his home, Lardieri said.A short time later, Camal, who appeared to be drunk, flagged down a police officer and allegedly admitted that he had taken the child to a restaurant in the shopping center and had a meal with him, Lardieri said. He also said he had drank about 20 beers, Yamaguchi said.According to Yamaguchi, Camal told investigators that the boy had said he was hungry, so he took him to a Chinese restaurant in the shopping center. He bought a combo plate and shared it with the boy.An employee at the restaurant told police that she assumed the boywas Camal’s son and that the child did not seem distressed.Camal told investigators that he got up to use the restroom and when he returned, the boy had gone, Yamaguchi said. The child was examined by a doctor and did not appear to have been injured, Lardieri said.Camal did not flee the area after the incident and was still in the shopping center when police found him, Yamaguchi said.Yamaguchi said Concord police “covered every base they possibly could,” but there did not appear to be any evidence that Camal had any devious intent when he took the child.”I don’t know what his intent was, other than to give him (the boy) lunch,” Yamaguchi said.”It’s a very strange case.”

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