Registered sex offender has daughter taken away after bullet arrest

Registered sex offender has daughter taken away after bullet arrest »Play Video
Nicholas Elizondo speaks Monday, July 8, 2013, to Eyewitness News about his arrest Sunday, after which his daughter was taken to the A. Miriam Jamison Children's Center.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A convicted sex offender has temporarily lost custody of his 6-year-old daughter after he was arrested at a traffic stop.

Nicholas Elizondo was arrested Sunday after a Bakersfield police officer found a bullet in his truck while conducting a traffic stop.

Elizondo said Monday that the bullet belonged to his 20-year-old son.

"I think the fact that I was convicted of a sex crime and my daughter was with me,” said Elizondo, “I think that played into law enforcement's decision to make a big thing out of an old rusty bullet in the back of my truck."

His daughter was with him at the time of the arrest and was taken to the A. Miriam Jamison Children's Center, where she will remain until an investigation is completed.

Elizondo said he believes it was unnecessary for police to take his daughter into protective custody.

“I had somebody who was available to take care of her," said Elizondo, referring to his son and 24-year-old stepdaughter. “There was no reason to take her into custody. She was not in danger”

The custody case of the 6-year-old girl generated public attention after the girl's mother contacted media. An Oklahoma judge awarded custody to Elizondo, who was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 in 1995. 

Elizondo said the charges against him were false, and that the girl was coached by her mother, Elizondo’s first wife.

The child from the 1995 incident indeed testified at a 2012 child custody hearing for the current 6-year-old girl that she fabricated the accusations, but Elizondo remains a registered sex offender.

“I just hope they give her back, so I can move on with my life,” said Elizondo. “If not, I’ll probably hire an attorney.”

The Department of Health Services inspected Elizondo’s home on Monday and has yet to determine whether to return custody.