North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 19, 2013

UPDATE: Police checking kidnapping suspect for other incidents

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

FULTONDALE — A Georgia man has been arrested on charges of kidnapping for an incident that began and ended with in a half-hour span on Valentine’s Day.

Bruce Edwin Barton, 61, of Doraville, Ga., was arrested for attempted kidnapping of a minor in an incident that began in the parking lot of Winn-Dixie on Decatur Highway.

The Fultondale Police Department incident report shows that the kidnapping attempt occurred between 8:15 and 8:30 Thursday morning. Barton, who was driving a 2007 silver Kia Spectra, was taken into custody a short time later by Gardendale police in front of Herring Heating and Air on Tarrant Road.

“The mother of that child did everything right, otherwise that could have had a terrible outcome,” Gardendale Police Chief Mike Walker said in his report to the city council during a meeting Monday.

Fultondale Police Sgt. D.P. Smith, who is investigating the incident, said that Barton is charged with trying to snatch a young girl from a parent’s car, before the mother intervened.

“Since he’s from Georgia, we’re checking around with other jurisdictions to see if anything similar has happened that might involve [this suspect],” Smith said.

Barton may have come to the Fultondale area because he has a relative working on the Interstate 22 construction project nearby, Smith said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Barton remained in the Jefferson County Jail under $100,000 bond.

“We encourage all parents to be observant and make sure they’re aware of their surroundings regardless of where they are,” Smith said. “We’re glad this situation turned out in a positive manner.”

Melanie Patterson contributed to this report.