4 Men Arrested
That was the headline that greeted Mr. Ken as he opened his Sunday newspaper. It was front page news, so the man, with his fresh cup of coffee, began to read.
Late last evening, four men attempted to kidnap some boys who were out Trick-Or-Treating. It was learned the men were after two boys of their former associate but because all the lads had either masks or face paint on they couldn't tell which lads they were supposed to take.
It was learned the men initially used a white panel van but because they didn't know which lads they had to kidnap they went and got a larger step van that could hold a large number of kids along with them.
It was said the white panel van followed behind a large group of Trick-Or-Treaters for more than an hour before deciding to depart and soon return with the roomier step van. Residents on the street where the attempted kidnapping took place told of a white panel van jumping from one empty parking space to the next. Those residents said they figured it was the parents watching their kids as they went house-to-house asking for candy or other treats which was why they hadn't called the police.
Further investigating by this reporter found that residents on the block, where the attempted kidnaping was to take place, were startled by the screech of tires and brakes and the quick follow up by police car emergency lights on and flashing in their windows.
The residents said when they looked out there were two men already down on the ground, spread eagled and two men holding guns over them. They also said there were four or five Halloween costumed Trick-or-Treaters watching on as if they were the intended victims.
Residents on the other side of the street said they saw two men dragging two small figures dressed in Halloween outfits towards the back of the step van but hadn't gotten to the doors when two very large men grabbed them from behind causing the kidnappers to release the two dressed figures.
Those residents told this reporter how the two large men took out something and wrapped the men's hands behind their backs while the two costumed youngsters looked on. The residents said once the men were incapacitated the one costumed figure called their saviors Mr. Gene and Mr. George. The costumed figures thanked them for saving them.
This reporter has since found out that Mr. Gene and Mr. George are twins and are security men who work for the Diamond Security Company, LLC, and were working that night for the infamous Mr. Ken Thomas to chaperone his sons, who we now know are his foster sons, who were out Trick-Or-Treating.
It was also learned that the Director of Children's Protective Services, Ms. Judy Turner herself, was also at the site of the attempted kidnapping. Speculation is that since Mr. Thomas' foster sons are ultimately her responsibility she was there to gather the facts of the attempted kidnaping and to determine if Mr. Thomas was at fault and irresponsible for allowing his foster sons to go out Trick-Or-Treating by themselves and thus putting them at risk.
Attempts to reach Mr. Thomas for comment on last night's attempted kidnapping were prevented by his security guards at his palatial estate known to many as Three Finger Cove, but is now known as just The Cove. Mr. Thomas was said to be in the area right after the attempted kidnapping and told one reporter that he was there as an observer as the incident only happened five minutes from his home.
Mr. Ken stopped reading at that point and realized he was in for a firestorm of questions and second-guessing for allowing his foster sons to go out Trick-or-Treating. He knew that providing two security men to watch over them would not be accepted by many of the reporters until he made himself available to speak with them, at length.
Ken Thomas knew he needed to get a hold of Bill Jackson later in the day and work out some sort of availability for him to speak to the reporters and get them off his case and to leave his foster sons alone. He was also glad that Judy Turner was coming over later so they could talk about what happened last night.
Mr. Ken then turned the TV on and turned it to the news station he regularly listens to in order to see what they had to say. It was then the owner of The Cove saw the videos the onlookers took of all nine lads as they were standing there. Mr. Ken knew who each lad was because of their costumes, but he was grateful their faces weren't readily discernable. The man watched for about a half an hour to hear how the news stations were reporting last night's attempted kidnapping and to see what other videos or pictures they had obtained from the residents and spectators.
Mr. Ken saw the two men who had actually grabbed Kevin and Kyle as they lay on the street with the Sheriff's Deputies standing over them, with their guns drawn. Mr. Ken could also see in the picture Kevin and Kyle looking on as Robert and Eric were next to them holding them tight. He was happy that the boys had kept their masks on so as not to be readily identified.
Upstairs, the twins woke up first; it was just past 9 AM. They were still hugging one another as when they fell asleep. When they awoke, they smiled at one another and knew they both needed to use the bathroom, fast. The two almost identical boys threw the covers off of them and quickly ran to the bathroom and stood in front of the porcelain gods. Their hard flagpoles slowly deflated as they relieved the pressure in their bladders and they laughed at each other as they saw what was happening. The two boys then went over and washed their hands and began brushing their teeth.
Charles and David woke up next. They said good morning to one another and it was then David asked Charles if he was going to tell him about the knife that man Smokey held to his throat. Charles begged off saying he needed to talk to his 'dad' first to make sure it would be okay for him to tell his friend. Charles then told David that if he told him he had to promise to never ever tell another soul unless he said it was alright. David heard the fear in Charles' voice and knew whatever happened was so serious that his friend was afraid of people learning about it.
The pre-teens hopped out of their beds, both sporting a morning friend. Charles laughed and that relieved David's fear he would be teased about his. They both headed to the bathroom to use the urinals in order to relieve the pressure in their bladders. When that was done they turned the corner and saw the twins were in the shower. Charles took his underwear off and told David to join them and that they could brush their teeth afterward.
David was still getting used to changing in front of everyone and was scared he'd pop an erection when he showered with the other three lads. But the twins told him not to be afraid of popping a boner as they all got them and they don't ever tease anyone about them. David smiled and took off his underwear and t-shirt and joined the three Cover lads in the shower.
When Robert and Eric woke up, they, too, were in each other's arms. The two Best Friends were becoming more and more familiar with one another and they had no secrets between them. Their love for one another was always demonstrated between them when they had the privacy to do so. They took care of their engorged members first and then headed to the bathroom to relieve the pressure in their bladders. They could hear the showers going so when they were finished they turned the corner to see which of the lads were in there. They were surprised to find all four lads taking their morning showers.
"Morning, my 'brothers'," said Eric, as he disrobed and entered the showers even though there weren't any available. Kyle moved over to share the shower with Kevin so Eric could have one. Then Robert came around the corner and he just disrobed and walked in and started using the shower Eric was at.
David was at a loss. He'd changed clothes with the other guys in the Locker Room, but he'd never taken a shower with another boy let alone five of them. He just laughed inside his head at what he was doing and hoped he wouldn't embarrass himself by getting a boner.
Charles shut off his shower and walked out to get a clean towel. The twins followed and then David came out. Robert and Eric stayed in the shower as they'd just gotten there. The four lads dried off and then wrapped the towels around them as they walked back to their bedrooms.
The twins dressed in after school clothes and headed down to the Kitchen Nook. When they got there they said 'good morning' to Mr. Ken and then they each took a different cereal down, a bowl each, and then they shared the milk. All 'Dad Ken' did was smile at what they'd done.
Charles and David got dressed but they stopped in the bathroom to brush their teeth. Robert and Eric were just finishing up and were drying off as the pre-teens walked in. The four said Hi to one another and then David asked what they thought would happen once all their friends found out what happened to them last night. Robert said they'd better talk to his 'dad' to get his take on what they should expect.
When Charles and David were finished, they walked out and down to the Kitchen Nook. Robert and Eric stayed and brushed their teeth. When Charles and David got to the Kitchen Nook the twins were finished eating and putting the rinsed bowls and milk glasses into the dishwasher. They then told everyone they were going out to ride the ramps while there was no one there yet.
After the twins left, Charles said to Mr. Ken, "'Dad, I have to talk to you about something."
"Can it wait until after you two eat, or do we need to get it out in the open and talk it out?" asked 'dad' Ken.
Charles looked at David, and then back to his 'dad,' and said, "'Dad', I sort of blurted out to David about Smokey and the knife. I want to know if I should tell him more or should I wait for a better time?"
Mr. Ken looked over to David and then back to Charles. "Charles … maybe you two should eat and then the three of us should go into my Study and talk about that. OK?"
Charles and David nodded their heads and then Charles went to the freezer and asked David what kind of breakfast tacos he wanted and how many. Charles took out three each of egg, bacon and cheese breakfast tacos, for them both, and placed them into the microwave oven and set the timer.
"'Son' … there is a big article about the attempted kidnapping in the newspaper this morning. So, be prepared to answer all your friends' questions because there is no way they don't know it was you guys who the men were after," spoke up Mr. Ken.
"Those men … they … they were after all of us?" asked a startled David.
"No, David, I'm pretty sure they were only after the twins, but they were prepared to take you all, is my best guess," replied Mr. Ken.
It was then that Robert and Eric came into the Kitchen Nook.
"Robert, Eric, you may want to read the article in the newspaper about the attempted kidnapping last night before you guys go out and talk with your friends later. Charles, David … you may want to read it, also. This way you won't reveal something that wasn't mentioned in the paper. I'll go out and get the twins so they can read it too," announced 'dad' Ken, who then walked out through the garage entrance to catch up with the twins.
While Robert and Eric read the article in the paper, Charles and David began to eat their tacos. Charles asked his older 'brothers' if he should start heating up some for them and they said he should. The pre-teen got out six more breakfast tacos and placed them into the microwave.
By the time all the lads had read the article about the attempted kidnapping, it was after 10 AM. Mr. Ken then sat them all down and asked them to call Josh, Gordon, and Cody and ask them not to talk to anyone, especially the reporters, about the incident last night until they talked with him. Then Mr. Ken took all the lads into his Study.
"Boys, I just want us all to be on the same page. I was not out there with you, Gene and George and when Matthias and Roberts came up to help protect you. Robert suspected something might happen when he saw the original white panel van but it disappeared. But I understand eventually the step van arrived at the top of the street. I wish I could have been there, but I wasn't told what might happen until about ten minutes before those men came towards you with the van.
"The Sheriff's office figured it out at the last moment and put a plan in place. That meant that Matthias and Roberts would arrive in plain clothes and talk to Gene and George like they were old friends. The other part was to place police cars just outside the street view and to be there in less than 12 seconds. Then it happened. I heard that Mr. Gene and Mr. George had their two men down on the ground really fast, while Matthias and Roberts had the other two before they even got close to any of the boys.
"Kevin did you know the man who abducted you, or any of the other men?" directly asked Mr. Ken.
"Yes, 'dad', I did. I told the man who talked to me in that special room that I knew all four of those men. Mr. Stewart was with me then," replied Kevin.
"So, Kevin, we will need to be prepared to talk to Detectives Carrier and Cortez about those men. They will want to talk to you about all of them and hopefully they will be able to identify more and more of the men who did what they did to you," said Mr. Ken, not thinking about David being in the same room. Then he saw the lad and spoke to him.
"David, I wasn't thinking when I said what I just did to Kevin. You probably already know those men were after Kevin and his twin, Kyle. Kevin was involved with his real dad and these men and we can only speculate they wanted to control him and not let him talk to too many people," revealed Mr. Ken.
"Is that something like what Charles mentioned to me last night?" asked David.
Mr. Ken then realized that David was on the periphery of knowing why some of his foster sons were living with him. The man figured he needed to talk to the lad about all that.
"David … I'm sure you understand that most kids are in the foster care system because … well, because of things that happened either to them or their parents. Robert, Charles, and the twins are no exception. I'm going to ask you to please not say anything to anyone about anything you may have heard or know. As for Kevin, he was involved with his dad and those men and they were all involved in something that wasn't good.
"Charles inadvertently told you something last night and I know … and I know now he wishes he could take it back. Very few people know his situation and one of the reasons I try to keep the boys out of the newspapers is to protect their privacy. David … it is NOT my place to tell you what Charles alluded to last night. That is up to him.
"David … they all have something that brought them here to live with me that … well, they just do not want to go public with, at least not yet. Maybe when they are older they might … they might want to tell their friends," finished Mr. Ken.
"Does Eric know any of those reasons why they live here? I know he is here more than anyone else," asked David.
Robert spoke up and said, "Eric only knows the full story about me. He may know some of the reasons why Charles is here and I don't think he knows anything about why the twins are here with us. I know I never told him. David … if why we are here gets out it could make life for us very hard and it might make us have to move. I know I sure do not want to have to move.
"David … I've been in other foster homes and I wasn't treated anything close to what I have here. I know Charles and I never want to have to leave here. As for the twins' … their mom is still in the hospital and hopefully, when she gets better, they all will live together again. I'm not too sure about their real dad though."
"Oh," was all David initially said. Then after a few moments, he added, "I think I understand. You all would be totally embarrassed … if why you are living with Mr. Ken ever got out. I know there a few things I've done that I would never want to get out, especially to my mom and dad. Charles … I won't bug you about telling me about what happened with Smokey and that knife. Knowing that much makes me feel bad. I wish now I never knew even that much."
It was then the phone rang in the Study. It was Bill Jackson.
The boys listened to the conversation, but only heard Mr. Ken's side. But in the end, they figured Mr. Jackson was coming over to talk to Mr. Ken.
"Boys that was Bill Jackson, my lawyer. He is coming over to talk to me about last night and about me making a statement to the media later in the afternoon. He's going to help me draft a statement to go along with what you all read in this morning's paper. One more thing. Ms. Judy will also be coming over to talk to me about last night's trouble.
"Also, you can expect there will be loads of reporters outside the Main Gate that maybe you may want to call your friends to warn them and let them decide if they want come over or not," explained Mr. Ken.
With that said, Robert and Charles got out their cell phones and began calling their friends. Kevin and Kyle didn't have cell phones and they had to wait to borrow their older 'brother's so they could call their many friends. Luckily with Eric there, they were able to call all 14 friends in record time. All the Cover lads told their friends of the potential problem of the reporters but all their friends said they wanted to come over and talk to them about what happened.
Bill Jackson arrived around 11:30 and Ms. Judy was close behind. The three adults talked and worked out of the Study. The lads were asked to go outside and either talk about last night or ride their skateboards. Both groups agreed to meet before 'Dad' Ken goes out to talk to the reporters.
Bill Jackson led the meeting between him, Mr. Ken and Ms. Judy. They reviewed all of the information they had from Mr. Ken's cryptic phone calls with Dan Fischer and what they read in the newspapers. Mr. Ken also told his friends what the boys told him after they were all reunited at the Sheriff's Headquarters.
"Ken let's review this one more time. Let's see if there is anything we missed. OK?" spoke up Bill Jackson.
"Well, the boys had been looking forward to this day for weeks, now. The twins told me they didn't remember Trick-or-Treating since they were seven. Friday night I sat them down and told them about Gene and George and that they would be going out with them. Charles wondered if they shouldn't go out, but I told them that one of my two security men would be in front and the other behind them as a precaution. One of the twins asked about Julian Hankers and that brought up a discussion about 'what if's'. I told them they had to be able to live their lives, and that was what Gene and George were there for.
"It was well after the boys had stopped to drop off their takings that I received a phone call from Robert telling me about the step van. He told me about a smaller van he noticed earlier, but then it was gone, but now there was a large step van and that Gene and George were talking about it. I told Robert to hang up and I was going to make a phone call. I immediately called Dan.
"Dan told me he was on the other line with Brandt Matthias who had called to tell him that he just learned that the Bandera Detectives told him that Julian was going to use Judge Terryman to give him some sort of release papers for him to take control of the twins. Dan then told me he was already in the area and would be over as quickly as he could and would call in reinforcements.
"As Dan was en route he called to get either Gene's or Georges' cell phone number. I figure he was going to coordinate with them and not through me. Dan also told me not to go over where the boys were. That made sense as there would have been a big delay. About five minutes later, Dan called me back. He told me about their plan and that Matthias and Roberts would soon be arriving to be with the kids.
"I didn't hear anything for what felt like hours but probably wasn't more than ten minutes. Then Robert called to tell me Matthias and Roberts were there. Robert also told me he felt a lot better now that they were there. He told me Lieutenant Matthias had asked them to finish going up the last few houses. Robert said the lieutenant told them that if anyone in the van is out to hurt them they would do it by then.
"I remember Robert asking if that was how Charles felt when Smokey was out after him. He told me he didn't know how Charles could deal with all the anxiety not knowing if Smokey would ever find him. Then, he told me he couldn't wait until it was all over. I asked him to look out after his 'brothers' and keep them safe and to try to be strong and someone all the boys can look up to.
"I also told him that he was with four armed men who are trained to protect and defend, and he really didn't have much to worry about. I didn't hear anything after that phone call with Robert until Dan called to tell me they made the arrests. The boys filled me in some about what happened between my last call with Robert and the step van pulling up to the lads and Robert telling all the kids to run," finished Ken.
Outside, the Covers' friends began to arrive about noon. When the lads got down to the ramps, they told Robert they had to go through a bunch of reporters in order to even get to the gate. The lads told the oldest Cover the guards made the reporters make way and to stop bothering the boys since they were just visiting and had nothing to do with what happened last night. It was Logan who told Robert that one reporter called out to them to tell Mr. Ken they wanted to talk to him. Robert went inside to tell his 'dad'.
Robert knocked on the Study door and was let inside. When he got in there he told his 'dad' what Logan told him the reporters said and that their friends were having a hard time getting to the gate. 'Dad' Ken told his 'son' that they were going to draft a statement and would be out there to talk to the reporters when they were ready. The man then laughed and the teen knew things were going to be OK.
By the time Robert went back outside all of the Cover lad's friends had arrived. Of course, the big discussion was what happened the night before. Robert could hear Kevin and Kyle trying to not talk about it, but some of the boys were being very persistent.
"Guys … hold on there. Leave Kevin and Kyle alone. My 'dad' figured you guys would want to talk about what happened to us last night, but you should talk to all of us and not just the twins, who aren't old enough to know what to say and how to say it. Now, who has a question that all nine of us might be able to answer?" finished Robert.
The first question dealt with how did they know those men were going to try something with them. Robert told them that they learned that something could happen just before the lieutenant and sergeant arrived. Of course, Mr. Gene and Mr. George were with us and when the deputies arrived, it made four men with guns there to protect us.
One lad asked how they were able to continue to Trick-Or-Treat, knowing that something might happen. Josh answered that one by telling them they were on their way back to The Cove anyway and had to walk to the top of the street in order to get there. Josh told them one of the Sheriff's guys asked them to continue knocking on doors to make it look like they didn't know that the men were in the step van.
"But … how did you guys react, you know, when they came at you with that big van?" asked Andrew.
The nine lads who were out together begging for candy were standing together and when they heard the question they all looked back and forth at one another. It was Kevin who answered. "Guys … when I saw that big van coming at us with those headlights glaring I knew it had to be Julian. I just knew it.
"He tried to take me and Kyle away a couple of weeks ago from here, and then from the school. I knew I had to get away. I even heard Robert yell for all of us to run, but my big clown shoes make it difficult to run. One guy caught me and put this long pillowcase like thing over my head and carried me I'd guess to the van. I was scared, really scared."
Kyle then spoke up and told the group how he saw the man grab his brother and carry him towards the back of the van and that he went over and began hitting the man to leave his brother alone. Kyle told them he was then picked up by another man and was being taken to the van when Mr. Gene and Mr. George came over to them and grabbed the men and had them put us down.
"Weren't you scared?" asked Isaac.
"Yes, I was scared, but everything happened so fast. It was like, I no sooner was picked up, than I was being put back down and Mr. Gene and Mr. George had those two men on the street and had their hands tied behind their backs. The police cars were already there and two deputies came running up to us and took the men off the street. They put their handcuffs on the men and it was then I saw that Mr. Gene and Mr. George had used some sort of plastic ties on the men's hands," replied Kyle.
"And you should have seen how Lt. Matthias and Sgt. Roberts took down the other two men," spoke out Cody. "These guys came out of the van and they came running at us and we were all trying to run away. When I looked back I saw the deputies had pulled out their guns and yelled to the men to drop right there on the grass."
"Yeah, that's what I saw, too," added Gordon.
"What happened to all of your candy?" asked Hunter.
The nine lads all laughed. Then Kyle said he and his brother had to pick up all their candy off the street because they had dropped their buckets when the men grabbed them. Then Kevin said they haven't even looked at their candy and probably should and get rid of anything that looked like it got opened and dirty.
That question reminded the three other boys they had candy stashed up at the guard shack and they wanted to go get it. As some of them began walking in that direction, Robert called out to them to stop. He told them with the reporters up there they could be asked questions they didn't want to answer. The teen then told Josh, Gordon and Cody he just remembered his 'dad had wanted to talk to all of them.
The four lads walked into the house and went over to the Study. Robert knocked on the now opened door and told his dad that Josh, Gordon, and Cody were there if he wanted to talk to them. Mr. Ken asked them to come back as they were still working on a draft statement. The boys headed back out to the ramps.
The lads continued to talk about what happened last night. Some of the lads wanted to know what it was like to be at the police station and being treated like criminals. Most of the boys laughed at hearing that term used for the victims.
It was Josh who told everyone how Kyle got the 'pity' handouts because he was tired. That brought about a lot more laughs. Then Gordon said it was Cody who wanted to get more candy from the people, so he rushed to the next house and that was when the men came after them. That revelation stopped the boys in their tracks.
The lads all stopped and stared at Cody like it was his fault that those men came after their friends. Robert saw what was happening and told everyone to chill out. He spoke up and said it wasn't Cody's fault those men came after them. The teen explained those men were after the twins and they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The boys thought about that for a few seconds and then they told Cody they were sorry for thinking he made it all happen. Cody let out a sigh of relief.
Back inside the home, Bill had Ken call up to the gate guard and tell him to let the reporters know they he would be out soon and he would make a statement. Ken told his guests that he needed to get cleaned up and would be out in about 30 minutes. Bill and Judy continued to talk.
"Bill … what Ken did … was … well, what he did … was it right?" asked Judy.
Bill thought about the question for a few moments and replied, "Judy, I'd say what Ken did was prudent. On one hand, he wanted his boys to experience something that they hadn't in a very long time. He also hired security guards to watch over them in case that man Julian came after the twins. Sure he could have kept the boys home, but these boys need to have a life and not be penned in like animal stock or prisoners.
"Ken also had no idea what was going to happen and when he was finally brought into the loop, there wasn't much time for him to act. But remember, Ken did have the forethought to hire professional security men to watch over them. So, he was doing what he could do to protect his charges. What else can you ask of the man? The Sheriff's department acted quickly enough after they had gotten the information and they formulated a plan that actually worked. They thought the boys were safe being with four armed men and as it turns out they were.
"You know, you will probably be asked some question tomorrow when you go to work. They'll want to know why you had these boys living with Mr. Ken. They'll want to know why you didn't protect these boys from almost being abducted. Oh, yes, they will have a bunch of questions to second guess you, you can almost be assured of that. They will be looking to blame someone over this, but there was nothing anyone could do to stop it at such a late stage. Hell, you didn't even know about it until your son called you to tell you what happened.
"Judy, you might want to draft a statement, too. Tell them what you knew and when you knew it. That you completely trust Mr. Thomas and that you learned after the fact that he wasn't told about the possibility of the twins being abducted until ten minutes before it actually happened.
"You can tell them Mr. Thomas has a stellar track record with your agency with the way he helped heal, and then protect Collin by taking a bullet for the teen. You go further and ask the reporters how many parents would have thought about hiring security to watch over their children as they went out Trick-Or-Treating.
"I'm going to work on drafting Ken's response for later this afternoon. You might want to write something down and get it out today, as well. That way you will have already addressed the situation and then the armchair quarterbacks can do what they always do … Bitch!" laughed Bill Jackson, as he turned his attention to his laptop computer he was going to use to write Ken's response.
Judy didn't have her laptop with her, but she went and got some paper from Ken's printer and then a pen and she began to write. When Ken came in from getting cleaned up that was how he found them. They were both working on writing something and were very focused as they didn't' even hear him come into his Study.
"What's that you're writing Judy?" asked Ken.
"Oh, Ken, I didn't hear you come in. Well, I talked with Bill and he said it would be good for me to get on top of this and have a statement ready. He explained to me the reporters will undoubtedly be on my case about what happened last night tomorrow at work. I figured I'd write my take and give it right after you present yours. Do you think that will be alright?" finished Judy Turner.
Ken looked to Bill who was just finishing his draft. Bill told Ken that with both he and Judy giving their response to last night's attempted kidnapping the attempted abduction shouldn't linger in the news much through Monday and hopefully, their statements would catch the reporters flat-footed. "The only thing that will keep this in the limelight will be any protracted investigations. If we could get the Sheriff's Office to issue their preliminary findings we could take this off the front page and get it where it belongs. At the bottom of a birdcage." That made Ken and Judy laugh.
Ken made a call to Dan to see if the Sheriff's Department was also going to issue a statement about last night's attempted abduction and subsequent arrest of four men. Mr. Ken then read through what Bill had written and then he practiced it out loud.
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