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Police say pair forced boy to rob residences

Two people were arrested late Saturday morning on felony child abuse charges after a 10-year-old was beaten and forced to steal property from an apartment they had broken into, according to Sgt. Cruz Jasso of the Merced Police Department.

Jasso said Felicia Long, 42, and Bobby Lee Kinder, 27, were apprehended at 11:44 a.m. after the 10-year-old was whispering for help as he was knocking on doors in a Merced neighborhood. A witness saw Kinder kicking the boy in the lower back.

Officers Raquel Rios and Leon Pintabona later learned that Kinder and Long broke into a neighborhood apartment and were forcing the juvenile to go inside and steal property. The boy had numerous injuries. A second neighbor saw the boy digging through a garbage can.

The 10-year-old's 7-year-old sibling was also taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services. Long and Kinder were booked into Merced County Jail on charges of felony child abuse, aggravated assault, criminal threats, residential burglary and possession of a deadly weapon. Kinder was being held Sunday night in Merced County Jail without bail due to a parole violation and Long's bail was $130,000, according to a correctional official.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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