East Bay News

Fisherman plays big role in rescuing kidnapped kids

Sunday, September 09, 2012
Fisherman Russ Ott Robinette spoke to ABC7 News exclusively about how he made contact with the kidnapping suspect. Brooklyn and Devin Maffei  The Coast Guard apprehended a man who allegedly took his two kidnapped children aboard a stolen yacht. Restraining order against Christopher Maffei Christopher Maffei Police say Christopher Maffei, 43, snatched his young daughter and son from their moms home in South San Francisco Tuesday, fled to Alameda, and sailed away on a stolen yacht. There is an ongoing search for a man who apparently abducted his children and took them away on a stolen sailboat.

There are new details on the abduction of two children from South San Francisco. On Sunday the fisherman who spotted the kidnapping suspect's boat about 50 miles off the coast, spoke exclusively to ABC7 News.

Russ Ott Robinette says he was trolling for tuna off Half Moon Bay Thursday afternoon when he noticed a boat sailing in circles. The man onboard told Robinette he was going to Hawaii and needed to buy fuel. The fisherman thought that request was odd, and asked, "Have you been in to Monterey or Half Moon Bay? If not, I'll direct you to the fuel dock and you can go in and get some fuel. His answer at that time was 'no, if I go in there I'll have to stay', which I found really, another red flag went up."

That man was Christopher Maffei. Police say the 43-year-old kidnapped his son and daughter, 2-year-old Devin and 3-year-old Brooklyn, and stole a boat out of the Alameda Marina.

Robinette contacted the Coast Guard who arrested Maffei Friday night.

The children are fine. Maffei is in the San Mateo County Jail. He's charged with kidnapping, parental abduction, and child endangerment.

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Tags:
south san francisco, alameda, coast guard, children, child abduction, monterey, monterey bay, east bay news
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