MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A man was arrested on suspicion of endangering, assaulting, and kidnapping a juvenile, according to the Merced Police Department.
Police say on March 18, the juveniles were walking through a Merced neighborhood when one of them kicked a front door of a residence. Earl Stokes, a 50-year-old from Merced became aware of what happened and chased after the group.
Police say Stokes told the group to stop or they would be shot. One of the juveniles did stop and Stokes grabbed them and ordered the juvenile into the bed of his truck. Police say the juvenile was visibly injured in the incident. Stokes then brought the juvenile back to the area where the door was kicked.
On Wednesday police say stokes turned himself in, following an investigation.
Officers say that Stokes was booked on suspicion of kidnapping, criminal threats, child endangerment, reckless driving, assault, and battery. He has since posted bail and is no longer in police custody.
Investigators add that Stokes was not the victim in the original incident and no specific juvenile has been identified by police as a suspect. Stokes is an employee of the United States Penitentiary in Atwater.
For parents like Olivia Olsen who come to the park where the incident occurred, it can be nerve-wracking. Especially since Stokes was free for a month after the incident happened.
“It’s a little unnerving, it’s a little scary, I have a little one so makes you want to hold them closer,” Olsen said.
Merced police officers ask anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact Detective Lupian at (209)385-7844 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Anonymous Tip Line at (209) 385-4725.