Restaurant Owner Faces Charges After Kidnapping Black Boy

A Louisville, Kentucky man is facing criminal charges after he reportedly pointed a gun at people and took a Black boy “against his will” from a Kroger grocery store. The man, identified as 58-year-old Fabao Chen, was later arrested at the Asian restaurant he owns, according to court documents cited by the Lexington Herald Leader. Chen appeared in court on June 5 and claimed he brought the 13-year-old boy back to the restaurant because the boy allegedly broke a bottle there the previous day.

Police said that Chen took the boy from the Kroger on West Broadway off 27th Avenue in Louisville at around 4:30 p.m. on June 4. A witness attempted to rescue the boy mid-kidnapping, but Chen allegedly pulled a gun out and pointed it toward them, police said. According to police, the man then pointed the gun at the boy’s head and “forcibly took him” to the Double Dragon at 2600 W. Broadway.

Witness Sean Jenkins told WDRB that Chen grabbed the boy by the arm and was telling him to “be still.” Jenkins, who said the boy was crying and scared, told Chen to get the gun off the boy. “So then he turned the gun towards me,” Jenkins told the station. “And I just said, ‘Hey just keep the gun on me man. Cool? Keep it off the kid.’” When Chen and the boy arrived at the restaurant, “a large crowd formed attempting to make the subject release the juvenile, at which point the subject again began pointing the gun at the crowd in a threatening manner,” police said in a report provided to The North Star. Police said the incident was caught on surveillance cameras from surrounding businesses.

Officers recovered a handgun at the scene and determined it was a BB gun. Jenkins told WAVE 3 that the weapon looked like a real gun. “But, I wasn’t going to take the time to find out if it was or wasn’t,” he said. “Just get it off the kid. I don’t want to be shot either, but don’t shoot the kid.” The boy’s mother, Denise Mannion, told WDRB that she learned of her son’s kidnapping when a group of women came to her home. When she arrived at the restaurant, Louisville Metro Police were on the scene, and her son had been rescued. Mannion said she later saw a video of her son being held at gunpoint.

“When I seen the video, the real video, with his facial expression, that really messed me up,” she told WDRB.

Mannion also denied that her son was responsible for the broken bottle inside Chen’s restaurant. She said that the school noted her son was at school on June 3, and he was in The Boys and Girls Club after school.

Louisville Police arrested Chen around 7 p.m. on June 4. He was charged with juvenile kidnapping and three counts of wanton endangerment — all felonies. Chen was booked into the Louisville Jail and was arraigned on June 5 in Jefferson District Court, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. Jail records reveal that he is part of Louisville Jail’s work release program, which means he is allowed to work while in custody.Chen’s bond was initially set at $250,000 cash, but a judge later lowered his bond to $20,000 cash.

Neighboring businesses said this is not the first time Chen has pulled out his BB gun. “He’s gotten into other altercations with customers and always points that gun,” Amanda Thompson-McAllister, the manager at the nearby Laundry Connection, told WHAS 11. “This is not the first time.”

Laundry Connection shared its surveillance video, which shows Chen grabbing the boy’s arm. Witness Patricia Duncan told WHAS 11 that she did not see Chen point the gun at the boy, but did see him point the gun down as he screamed at people to leave his restaurant. Duncan said Chen should have handled the situation with the boy by calling police instead.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.