A 34-year-old man accused of nabbing two small children outside a Sacramento church Saturday afternoon has been arrested on kidnapping charges.
The man, identified by police as Paul Nelson, approached a group of children eating on the church campus in the 2600 block of Del Paso Boulevard just before 2 p.m., police said. He sat down with them briefly, though he didn’t know any of the children there, according to Sacramento Police spokesman Officer Justin Brown. Without warning, he grabbed two small children – both under the age of 7 – and tried to leave with them, Brown said.
He didn’t make it far.
Parents and onlookers saw the man dragging the children behind him by the arms and rushed to stop him, Brown said, pulled the children out of his grasp and held him down until police arrived on scene.
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Brown said several officers responded and struggled with Nelson before taking him into custody. Police described his behavior as “strange,” Brown said, and investigators are looking into the possibility that the man was under the influence of drugs at the time.
Nelson was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, resisting arrest and two outstanding warrants – a misdemeanor warrant from Santa Clara County and a felony warrant out of San Jose.
No one was injured in the incident and the children were safely returned to their parents, police said.
Nelson remained in jail Sunday in lieu of a $2 million bond. He will be arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday.
Call The Bee’s Marissa Lang at (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter at @Marissa_Jae.