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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Habitual offender arrested in alleged attempted kidnapping

Published: Fri, July 25 6:06 p.m. MDT

 Police say Trevor Daniel Merkley, 42, tried to walk off with a 6-year-old girl during Pioneer Day festivities at Liberty Park on Thursday, July 24, 2014. Merkley was arrested for investigation of attempted kidnapping.

Police say Trevor Daniel Merkley, 42, tried to walk off with a 6-year-old girl during Pioneer Day festivities at Liberty Park on Thursday, July 24, 2014. Merkley was arrested for investigation of attempted kidnapping.

(Salt Lake County Jail)

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who police say tried to walk off with a 6-year-old girl during Pioneer Day festivities at Liberty Park on Thursday was arrested for investigation of attempted kidnapping.

About 7:30 p.m., Trevor Daniel Merkley, 42, grabbed a 6-year-old girl's shoulder and started to guide her away from her family, said Salt Lake police detective Dennis McGowan.

The man got as far as the next carnival booth when a family friend saw what was happening and tried to stop him. Even when the friend confronted the man, he continued to talk to the young girl and tried to convince her to keep walking, McGowan said.

Another family member then found a nearby Salt Lake police officer, who questioned Merkley and arrested him.

Merkley is a habitual offender in the city, mainly committing misdemeanor offenses such as public intoxication and disorderly conduct, according to Utah state court records. He has nearly 150 case entries since 2003.

In 2014, he has been charged in seven cases with alcohol or trespassing related offenses. Some of those were ultimately dismissed.

— Pat Reavy

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1. Misterjrh
Atlanta, GA,
July 25, 2014

Why don't more states have a three-strikes law? I would be seriously surprised if this individual doesn't ruin at least a few lives before he's finally put away forever. Given his offender status it appears that he's most likely been living off the government in some way or another... we may as well just oblige this man with a life sentence to save on court costs of repeated re-incarceration, not to mention the emotional cost to the victims for potential loss of liberty and life.

2. samhill
Salt Lake City, UT,
July 25, 2014

"Merkley is a habitual offender in the city, mainly committing misdemeanor offenses such as public intoxication and disorderly conduct, according to Utah state court records. He has nearly 150 case entries since 2003.

In 2014, he has been charged in seven cases with alcohol or trespassing related offenses. Some of those were ultimately dismissed."
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Well, let's hope this attempted kidnapping of a child will help someone in the "justice" system wake up to the idea of actually imprisoning someone who has obviously been trying hard, for along time, to be imprisoned.

3. caleb in new york
Glen Cove, NY,
July 25, 2014

because housing people in prison is extremely expensive. Although I don't love dangerous people being out amongst us, in many places its too expensive to keep minor criminals continually locked up because evil is spreading and there are so many of them. Unfortunately our laws do not let us lock someone up because we think they might do something really bad. Justice requires some crime to actually have occurred.

4. roberto
Moses Lake, WA,
July 25, 2014

150 cases since '03? The courts should have pulled the plug on his freedom at 10. Society dodged a bullet this time. sounds like a candidate for a long long sentence!

5. DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT,
July 25, 2014

If he is just a career criminal, then let's get these charges prosecuted and lock him up.

If he is mentally ill, then perhaps that requires a different process to get him committed and locked up somewhere else.

Bottom line is, having career criminals wandering around and attempting to kidnap six year old girls is not what is done in a civilized and safe society. If other cities (San Francisco, Chicago, New York like people like this, I will be happy to buy him a one way bus ticket to any of those places.

Let's get Chief Burbank on this one to make the city safer. This is in addition to two people being stabbed in Liberty Park yesterday. Really does not make me want to go downtown anymore.