Chautauqua County DA unhappy with Fredonia court over alleged kidnapper bail decision

FREDONIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson is not happy with the Village of Fredonia Court.

On Sunday night, a 13-year-old boy with autism went missing from a Walmart he was at with his parents. He was found later that night in the village, and charges were brought against 38-year-old Samuel Saeli.


Saeli was accused of kidnapping the boy from the store. After being jailed on $10,000 bail, Saeli made bail and was released.

The law states that the Village of Fredonia Court was supposed to offer the chance for Swanson to be heard on bail, but he was not given that opportunity, he said in a statement.

“My office learned of the defendant’s capture and arraignment Tuesday morning after the arraignment took place,” Swanson said. “Why the court did not notify my office is beyond me.”

Swanson told News 4 that his bail recommendation for Saeli would have been “significantly higher,” had he been given the opportunity to recommend an amount.

It was later revealed that Saeli was on probation for a felony charge at the time of his capture.

“My primary concern is the safety of this county,” Swanson said. “As the father of five and three-year-olds, I am extremely unhappy with the action taken by the Village of Fredonia court.”

There is currently a warrant out for Saeli’s arrest. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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