Teen boy’s attorney asks judge for bail

The attorney for a teen boy charged as an adult for the attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl during a hold-up of her father appealed to a San Mateo County judge Thursday to set bail for her client’s release.

Judge Gerald Buchwald delayed until Monday his ruling on whether the 16-year-old boy and his alleged accomplice, 19-year-old Simon Fajardo, will be eligible for bail. But he indicated he would likely set bail for the younger defendant.

The Hayward pair are charged with seven felony counts in the July 10 incident in San Mateo’s Gateway Park, including kidnapping for the purposes of a robbery, kidnapping of a juvenile, burglary of a vehicle, possession of stolen property, two counts of robbery and gang enhancements.

They could face life in prison if convicted on the kidnapping charges, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The 16-year-old’s attorney, Anne Beles, told the judge her client is a good student who works at an ice cream parlor. The boy has no criminal record.

“The young man has a right to bail,” Beles said. “If he was in juvenile court, we’d be debating releasing him on electronic monitoring.”

After their arrests by San Mateo police, both the boy and Fajardo admitted to being Norteño gang members, said Deputy District Attorney Gregory Devitt.

Prosecutors allege that Fajardo and the teenager were part of a pack of young men who committed several robberies in the park that evening. Devitt said Fajardo and the boy approached a man walking with his 13-year-old daughter and Fajardo demanded money from the man.

After the man refused and began walking away with his daughter, Fajardo grabbed the girl by the wrist, Devitt said.

She was able to quickly break free but suffered an arm injury, he said.

“This young girl was essentially going to be ransom so the defendants could get money from her father,” Devitt told the judge.

tbarak@examiner.com


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