The founder and owner of Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park in Spokane Valley has released a statement after one of his employees was accused luring a 9-year-old boy into his car.
in an email to KHQ's Noelle Lashley, Luke Schueler wrote the following:
Flying Squirrel Sports takes all inappropriate behavior seriously and will not tolerate inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Employees are encouraged to bring such matters to the Management's attention at any time, without fear of any adverse action being taken against them for doing so. As you know, the individual has been terminated immediately based upon the outcome of the investigation of inappropriate behavior and violations of the company policy took place as outlined in the company employee handbook. I can tell you that the appropriate action has been taken to ensure that such conduct does not repeat itself. Due to the nature of this abnormal situation, we have implemented procedures that directly correlate to these special situations. It is imperative to develop and promote a safe environment for our customers and employees to be encouraged to report inappropriate conduct immediately to the management team. It is therefore critical that all customer concerns and complaints will be taken seriously and escalated to the manager on duty immediately. We will also be conducting training for managers and supervisors on how to identify and handle concerning behavior of staff and customers. We have begun implementing immediately new corrective steps to our harassment procedures to provide better and timely responses to situations of this nature. I have attached these procedures in a PDF document for you. Our hearts go out to the families affected by this abnormal incident and most importantly we are thankful the individuals are safe. Patron safety is our top priority. Any inappropriate behavior is a serious matter and we can ensure you that we have mandatory procedures and training set for all team members to ensure all optimal steps must be followed to mitigate these situations going forward. Thank you.
Founder/Owner & COO"
Court documents say 21-year-old Ryan Higginbotham, asked the victim to go to the car wash to help clean his car, and even offered him $150 if the boy left with him. Higginbotham told police he did speak to the victim and asked him to "wash his vehicle 'as a joke'." Police arrested and charged him with attempted kidnapping 2nd degree.