Kennewick ice cream man accused of luring skips court hearing

Tri-City HeraldApril 24, 2013 

— A bench warrant was ordered Wednesday for an ice cream vendor who skipped a court hearing on allegations he made suggestive remarks to a teen girl and tried to lure her inside his truck.

Maximino Castillo-Murcia, 41, is charged in Benton County Superior Court with luring, communication with a minor for immoral purposes and indecent exposure to a child under 14 years.

He was arrested April 18 and later was released after posting bond on $10,000 bail.

A hearing was scheduled Wednesday for Castillo-Murcia to enter pleas to the new charges. But when he failed to appear in court, Judge Craig Matheson ordered that the Kennewick man be arrested and this time held without bail.

According to police and prosecutors, Castillo-Murcia parked his ice cream truck at Monopoly Park on April 17. The truck also sells other snacks.

A 13-year-old girl at the park approached the truck while waiting for friends to join her.

That’s when Castillo-Murcia allegedly told the teen she was “his favorite girl,” that she was beautiful and pretty and that she had the perfect body for his son.

The girl was alone in front of the truck when Castillo-Murcia gave her a free ice cream cone, rubbing her hand as he handed it over, court documents said. He asked her to come inside the truck, but she pulled away and refused, documents said.

The vendor then tried to offer the teen some chips if she came inside. She again refused, yet he still gave her the bag of chips.

Prosecutors say a 7-year-old girl walked up to the truck at this point and Castillo-Murcia handed her a free ice cream while asking the younger girl to leave.

He then turned his attention back to the teen, continuing to comment on her body and how beautiful she was, court documents said.

The teen reportedly told the younger girl not to leave.

He asked to see her cellphone, documents say, and she said as she reached to get the phone back from him, she noticed he was partly undressed and appeared to be touching himself.

The teen threw her ice cream and the chips at Castillo-Murcia and ran off with the younger girl.

The teen did not tell anyone about the incident until she talked to school officials the next day, said Kennewick police spokesman Mike Blatman.

She helped officers search for the truck, which was found near Fourth Avenue and Kent Street. She allegedly identified Castillo-Murcia as the vendor.

Police believe there may have been other unreported incidents involving Castillo-Murcia and the truck. People with similar encounters are asked to call 628-0333, or 586-8477 if they wish to remain confidential.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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