Police still searching for kidnapping suspect after arresting different man

Police still searching for kidnapping suspect after arresting different man
Bakersfield Police have arrested a man who allegedly threatened the family of a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped.

Police arrested 31-year-old James Sims on Saturday night, hours after the unidentified girl was grabbed from her southeast Bakersfield home in a botched kidnapping attempt.

The child was sleeping when the kidnapping suspect carried her out of her home. The girl's screams woke up the family, and relatives ran outside. At that point, the suspect dropped the girl and ran off.

Hours afterward, Sims allegedly went to the victim's home and asked a lot of questions about the morning kidnapping. Bakersfield Police Sgt. Greg Terry said the family didn't want to answer the questions, and that led to a physical fight between family members and Sims.

Terry said at some point that Sims allegedly threatened the family.

"He expressed some things to the family that made them feel threatened," said Terry. "But he also specifically talked about kidnapping the girl."

Investigators said the victim's family may have known Sims because he lives in their neighborhood. After the confrontation with the family, police arrested Sims at his home in the 200 block of East Fifth Street.

Sims said Monday from jail that he's innocent of any crimes.

"Why am I going to try and attack a daughter, an actual another daughter, that I don't even know?" Sims said.

Investigators said Sims fought with the officers who tried to arrest him. He faces charges of making threats, intimidating a witness, assault on an officer and resisting arrest.

It's still not clear why Sims went to the victim's home, and his relationship is unknown to the suspect who kidnapped the girl Saturday morning.

"That's something that we don't know, and obviously that's a part of our investigation at this point," said Terry. "Why he showed this interest in asking these kinds of questions about the kidnapping? We don't know that yet."

The child ended up with scrapes to her feet, knees and elbows, according to police reports. Terry said she has been traumatized by the incidents, and police were working with her to get more information on the suspect who took her.

The kidnapping suspect is described as a black male, 16 to 20 years of age, about 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.