Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 1000 Block of East Gobbi St. Ukiah on Sunday, Dec. 15 at around 2 a.m. regarding a suspect making threats to cause great bodily harm to a child.
Deputies contacted the child’s mother and learned that she and the 4-year-old boy lived with the suspect, Michael Avila, age 24, in the Hopland area. The mother noted she and Avila had a domestic argument the previous day and she left the residence with her child.
The mother told the deputies she had taken her child to her mother’s home. Later her 15-year-old brother was babysitting the child while she went out with some friends for the evening. While she was out, Avila arrived at the home and took the child from the residence. Avila left on foot and his whereabouts were unknown. The mother informed the deputies Avila is not a parent or guardian of the child, did not have any parental rights and did not have permission to take the child.
Deputies, with the assistance of Ukiah Police Department officers and California Fish & Wildlife officers, searched the area for Avila and the child. A Ukiah police officer located Avila and the child at the Denny’s restaurant on Pomeroy St. in Ukiah.
Deputes contacted Avila at the location and learned he was angry with the child’s mother for being out and not returning home. Avila took the child and went out into the extreme cold weather without providing adequate clothing. It was learned Avilla walked to Denny’s restaurant with the child.
Avila was taken into custody for kidnapping and child endangerment and was transported to the Mendocino County jail and incarcerated for the listed charges with bail set at $250,000.