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Man sentenced to 1 year in jail following attempted kidnapping at Buellton grocery store

Posted at 9:52 AM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 22:04:12-05

The man arrested and later charged after authorities say he tried to kidnap a young child from a grocery store in Buellton last year was sentenced Thursday to one year in county jail and five years probation.

This comes after William "Bill" Henderson pleaded guilty on Feb. 6 to false imprisonment by violence, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

Under the plea, a misdemeanor cruelty to a child charge was dismissed.

Henderson had been out on bail since shortly after his August 13, 2019 arrest but was taken back into custody following Thursday's hearing.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said in August 2019, Henderson took a 2-year-old from a shopping cart at Albertsons on the 200 block of Highway 246 and "started walking toward the exit."

The child's parent stopped Henderson before he left the store and he handed over the child, authorities said, adding, "The 2-year-old child and parent were clearly distraught over the incident."

Shortly after his arrest, the sheriff's office said several people had called to describe bizarre behavior involving Henderson, but the reports at that time had not risen to the level of criminal behavior, officials said.

Some of Henderson’s probation terms include not having any alcohol, having no contact with all victims, staying away from the area near Albertsons in Buellton, a $600 restitution fee and enrolling and completing a six-month outpatient alcohol treatment program.

The DA's Office adds that after serving 270 days behind bars, they are not objecting to Henderson being transported directly to a residential treatment program in Ventura.