Two teens are booked in the Tulare County Adult-Pre-Trial Facility after an argument erupted into the kidnapping of a 17-year-old and 3-year-old girl. It’s a kind of case that always gives the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office a scare, but they’re glad it’s already resolved.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ricardo Hernandez, 18, and his girlfriend, Jade Ruiz, 18, Friday morning at Ruiz’s home on Sacramento Street. The sheriff’s office searched for Hernandez the night before for allegedly kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and their young daughter.
It all started on Wade Avenue around 10 p.m. Friday. Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said the 17-year-old was on her way to drop off her daughter to Hernandez’s home, who is her ex-boyfriend, for visitation.
An argument sparked between the two, according to Boudreaux, and the 17-year-old’s current boyfriend ran over to stop it. That’s when things started to escalate.
“He runs down to intervene [and when he does] he’s hit with a baseball bat,” Boudreaux said. “He goes to the ground and is jumped by two of the biological father’s buddies.”
Boudreaux said Hernandez then shoved his ex and their daughter into her car and drove off. His ex managed to jump out at some point, but the child remained in the back seat.
This is when authorities started to sweat.
“You have a suspect now, in this case, who is not thinking straight. There’s definitely some heavy emotions involved in this situation, so we became alarmed quickly,” Boudreaux said.
With the help of Tulare Police, they found Hernandez abandoned the car in a field in the area. With help from his ex, authorities went to the house of Hernandez’s current girlfriend, Ruiz, early Friday morning.
There deputies found Ruiz walking out of the home with the 3-year-old girl in-hand. Hernandez was found in the house shortly after, despite Ruiz saying he wasn’t in the house.
“It could’ve all gone bad very quickly. We’re just glad everyone’s okay,” Boudreaux said.
Hernandez has been charged with multiple felonies, including kidnapping, car theft and assault with a deadly weapon. Ruiz has been charged with interference.