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Updated at 4:11 p.m. Feb. 5, 2024

The following press release was issued at 10:40 a.m. this morning by the City of Salida Police Department:

Image courtesy of the City of Salida.

On February 2, 2024, the Salida Police Department was dispatched to Loaf ‘n Jug, located at 448 East Rainbow Boulevard for a report of a 16 year-old female being harassed. Upon responding, it was learned that the juvenile female had been followed while walking along the sidewalk from the Dollar Tree to Loaf ‘n Jug.

While the victim was walking, the suspect began following the [unidentified] juvenile female. The suspect made sexual advances, propositioning the juvenile for sex in exchange for money, and attempted to make physical contact with the juvenile female.

After the juvenile female crossed the street near Loaf ‘n Jug, she lost sight of the suspect. A short time later the suspect was contacted by Salida Police Officers near Loaf ‘n Jug.

When contacted, the suspect was found to be in possession of methamphetamine. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Chaffee County Detention Center where he was charged with CRS violation 18-9-111(1)(C) Harassment, and 18-18-403.5 Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Willie Steven Baker, age 65 booking shot. Photo courtesy Salida City of Salida Police Department.

The suspect in this case was identified by officers as Willie Steven Baker, 65, a transient.

Baker has been released on a Personal Recognizance Bond. The Salida Police Department has announced that it feels an obligation to make the community aware of this concerning incident.

Editor note: Ark Valley Voice reached out at mid-day to the Salida Police Department Records office to obtain a booking photo of the suspect, which was not included in the press release but provided at 4:00 p.m.

Featured image: Willie Steven Baker, 65. Photo courtesy City of Salida Police Department