Prosecutors file detention petitions against men mistakenly given ankle monitors after being charged with trying to abduct 2 boys

CHICAGO — Remember our story a couple of weeks ago about the two men accused of trying to lure children into a van where cops allegedly found sex supplies, booze, and a mattress? The men who were given electronic monitoring because a judge and prosecutors mistakenly believed that attempted child abduction is not a detainable offense under Illinois’ cashless bail system?

Well, somebody must have given prosecutors a heads-up, because they filed detention petitions against both men on Monday. They’re both behind bars today, one because a judge granted the detention petition and the other because the state revoked his parole due to the new allegations.

During an initial appearance on March 31, prosecutors charged Kenchi Edwards, 60, and 55-year-old Kraig McCauley with two counts of attempted child abduction and two counts of child luring.

Officials say McCauley drove a van into a residential alley in Cicero and stopped near three boys who were playing basketball—a 13-year-old and two 14-year-olds. 

McCauley motioned for the older boys to come over to the van, telling them that Michael Jordan was in the back and there were “games” to play, according to prosecutors. The kids kept their distance. But McCauley continued his efforts for two or three minutes before slowly driving away, prosecutors said in the newly filed detention petitions.

Prosecutors said on March 31 that one of the children reported the incident to a parent who called the police. The petitions, however, say one of the children called the cops. A surveillance camera allegedly recorded the interaction.

Kraig McCauley, left, and Kenchi Edwards (Cook County sheriff’s office)

Cicero cops pulled the van over nearby and allegedly found McCauley sitting on a mattress placed on the base of the driver’s seat. Prosecutors said Edwards was in the back of the van.

Once the men were removed from the vehicle, police found a used crack pipe, “numerous condoms, lubricant, and binoculars,” open cans of Twisted Tea alcohol, an open bottle of Ice House, and an open bottle of Buchanan’s Deluxe Whiskey, prosecutors said on March 31.

Both men confirmed they spoke with the children about sports, and they joked about Edwards resembling Michael Jordan, according to prosecutors.

Even after taking a break to double-check state law, both Judge Susana Ortiz and the prosecutor handling the initial detention hearing mistakenly concluded that the men could not be detained because attempted child abduction is not on the list of detainable crimes under the SAFE-T Act.

Ortiz ordered the men to go on ankle monitors instead. McCauley went home. Edwards remained in jail pending a review of his parole status.

On Monday, both men were back in court. This time, things went a little differently as prosecutors presented Judge Rouhy Shalabi with detention petitions for both men.

According to court records, Shalabi granted the petition against McCauley and denied the one against Edwards. McCauley was taken to jail. Edwards returned to Stateville Correctional Center.

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About Tim Hecke 300 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com