On May 12th, 2021 at about 10:22 AM, the Bakersfield Police Department received a report from the 2200 block of Niles Street that a juvenile (early teen) was the victim of an in-progress kidnapping and sexual assault. The victim was able to contact law enforcement while being held by the suspect in his vehicle. The victim was able to flee from the suspect in the City of Arvin. The Bakersfield Police Department notified the Arvin Police Department, who located the suspect vehicle leaving the area after the victim fled. The driver of the suspect vehicle, an adult male, failed to yield to the Arvin Police Department and a pursuit began at North Comanche Road and Varsity Road.
The pursuit continued southbound on Highway 99, and the Bakersfield Police Department took over. While in pursuit officers received additional information, via the victim who was safely recovered that the suspect was under the influence of drugs and possibly armed with a firearm. As the suspect traveled southbound on Highway 99 his vehicle collided several times with the center guardrail. The California Highway Patrol took over the pursuit near Highway 99 and Sandrini Road.
The suspect vehicle became disabled due to repeated collisions with the center guardrail approximately a quarter mile north of the I-5 split. The driver of the vehicle was uncooperative with officers and refused to exit the vehicle. The Bakersfield Police Department SWAT team responded to assist with the apprehension. For approximately one hour officers attempted to negotiate the safe surrender of the suspect.
SWAT officers eventually deployed a Taser and took the adult male suspect into custody. The adult male appeared to have a medical emergency and became unresponsive. Medical aid was onscene throughout the standoff and he was transported to an area hospital where he died. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
The identity of the adult male will be released by the Kern County Coroner’s Office.
A full investigation into all of the facts and circumstances is being conducted. Involved Bakersfield Police officers were equipped with body-worn cameras. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.