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BPD: alleged kidnapping leads to closure of I-5, death of suspect

Slide Public Safety

An attempted kidnapping led to a police chase down Interstate 5 that closed the highway for more than an hour Wednesday, police said.

In a news release, Bakersfield Police said the man accused of the kidnapping crashed into the center guardrail just north of the Highway 99 split with I-5 before his vehicle became disabled. The BPD SWAT team tried to negotiate a surrender with the suspect for about an hour, the release said, before tasering the suspect.

BPD says that the man appeared to have a medical emergency after being tasered. Medical aid was given before the man was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

The cause of death has yet to be determined.

According to the news release, BPD received a report originating from the 2200 block of Niles Street that an “early teen” was the victim of an in-progress kidnapping and sexual assault. The report says the victim was able to call police while in the suspect’s vehicle.

When in Arvin, BPD says, the victim was able to flee from the suspect. BPD notified the Arvin Police Department, which located the suspect vehicle before a pursuit began at North Comanche and Varsity roads.

The pursuit continued down Highway 99. While in pursuit, law enforcement learned the suspect was allegedly under the influence of drugs and possibly armed with a firearm, the news release said.

While being pursued, the suspect hit the guardrail several times. Both BPD and the California Highway Patrol became involved in the pursuit.

In the release, BPD said a full investigation of the facts and circumstances of the pursuit is being conducted. All BPD officers were equipped with body cameras. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call 327-7111.