Mother's call prompts arrest

Michael Babinski was arrested outside of Timber Lodge Cafe for an outstanding warrant in Whitman County, WA.

A Washington man is in custody after allegedly attempting to lure a child to his vehicle outside of a St. Maries restaurant, Saturday.

The man, identified by the Benewah County Sheriff Office as Michael D. Babinski, was arrested for an outstanding warrant in Whitman County, WA. According to BCSO staff Mr. Babinski will not be charged with a crime in Benewah County and will be extradited to Whitman County at a date to be determined.

The incident that led to Mr. Babinski’s arrest began outside of Cabin City Q. According to Keena Yearout, she was outside of the restaurant with her 9-year old daughter when Mr. Babinski drove up in a white pickup and attempted to lure her daughter near his vehicle.

“Without a doubt in my momma heart if I wouldn’t have been there Maci would be gone. He pulled up next to her at Cabin City, when I was about 10 feet away from her with my back turned, trying to get her to come close to his truck, holding a bright pink book out the window for her to grab,” Ms. Yearout said.

When Ms. Yearout saw what was happening she said she ran over and took her daughter back inside the restaurant. Mr. Babinski then sped away from Cabin City nearly colliding with oncoming traffic according to Douglas Yearout, Keena’s husband, who was inside the restaurant.

According to Mr. Yearout the family then drove home down Main Street where they saw Mr. Babinksi’s truck parked outside of Timber Lodge Café.

“As we drove down Main Street she pointed the pickup out to me parked in front of (Timber Lodge Café). Keena slowed down and I jumped out and called the Sheriff’s office,” Mr. Yearout said.

Outside the restaurant Mr. Yearout was able to flag down a BCSO detective who proceeded to make contact with Mr. Babinski inside the restaurant.

Mr. Babinski identified himself as Santa Claus to the detective, made a series of rambling nonsensical claims, and denied the allegations against him, according to Mr. Yearout.

Ultimately, Mr. Babinski was arrested because of the felony warrant for his arrest in Whitman County, WA. He is now in the custody of BCSO detention staff awaiting extradition.

According to documents provided by the Washington State Superior Court, Whitman County, Mr. Babinski is charged with one count of taking a motor vehicle without permission in the second degree (felony); malicious mischief in the second degree (felony); criminal trespass in the second degree (misdemeanor).

A search of Washington court records results in 15 cases between 1989 and 2020 for a Michael D. Babinski, including the case in Whitman County.

A search of Washington State and the national sex offender registry returned no results for the name Michael Babinski.

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