Man Kidnaps, Rapes Girl At Springdale School Playground, Police Say

A Springdale man was arrested Sunday after police said he snatched a girl from a Springdale school playground and raped her behind a shed.

Isidro Vargas-Araujo, 21, was arrested on suspicion of rape, kidnapping and battery. He was released Monday from the Washington County Detention Center on $50,000 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

His arraignment is set for June 9.

Police received a call from a father Sunday who said his 13-year-old daughter had been kidnapped from the Jones Elementary School playground, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.

Three children at the scene told responding officers that they, along with the kidnapped girl, had been playing near the east side of the school when a Hispanic man approached and walked off with her, according to the preliminary report.

Police said the man pulled the girl behind a shed while she struggled. The kids then ran to get help.

Officers later saw Vargas-Araujo and the girl walking from an enclosed area on the school’s south side, and when the girl saw the officers, she ran toward them while crying hysterically, the preliminary report states.

The victim allegedly told police the suspect hurt her. After she calmed down, she explained that he pulled her by the hair, slammed her against a wall and then raped her, police said.

She said Vargas-Araujo left his pants and underwear behind the storage shed where he raped her. Police checked the area and found a white pair of boxers and a pair of blue shorts on the ground. The victim said they belonged to Vargas-Araujo, the report states.

Vargas-Araujo admitted he and victim had sex, but he said it was consensual, according to the report.

Police said the victim had a bump on the left side of her head.

People in the neighborhood across the street said they had never had trouble like this before.

“I’m shocked, because I have a one-year-old daughter, and in front of my house there’s a park,” Blanca Hernandez said, “And I can’t imagine what my reaction would be if that happened to my daughter.”

Melissa Morphew said she is happy the police acted so quickly.

“It could happen anywhere,” Morphew said, “My dad and my brother are cops, and they’ve made their living trying to keep people like this off the street.”

Isidro Vargas Araujo

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