A 42-year-old Berkeley man has been charged with trying to take a toddler from her parents in January with the intent of committing a sex crime, according to court papers.
The incident took place at the Berkeley Marina on Jan. 17 at about 10:50 a.m., according to court documents. The girl’s father confronted the man — later identified as Bryan Blanchard — and punched him in the face as he fled in his vehicle, police wrote. Berkeley officers caught up with the culprit and arrested him later that day, BPD said.
According to court papers, Blanchard saw the girl near her parents’ parked vehicle and motioned, from a few feet away, for her to come to him. She “stood still and seemed scared,” police wrote. So Blanchard walked up to her and put his hand on her shoulder, according to BPD.
The girl’s mother “immediately grabbed her child away from Blanchard and confronted him,” police wrote. Blanchard ran to his vehicle and tried to flee, said BPD.
“The child’s father chased after Blanchard with a knife, confronted him, and took a video and photos” as the man drove off, police wrote. The family quickly got into their own vehicle and chased after Blanchard. They caught up to him at University Avenue and Sixth Street when he got stuck in traffic, according to police.
“The father punched Blanchard through the window, giving him a knot under his left eye,” police wrote. Then Blanchard sped off “and ran several traffic controls to flee from the family,” according to BPD.
As this was happening, BPD was attempting to call the family but could not immediately get them on the phone. About 2.5 hours later, however, police stopped Blanchard at Sacramento and Delaware streets on suspicion of a traffic violation, according to BPD.
“Upon detention, Blanchard made spontaneous statements that he was punched and chased by a man with a knife in the Berkeley Marina earlier in the morning,” police wrote. Officers saw that Blanchard had a knot under his eye, was in a vehicle matching the description from the marina report, matched the description of the suspect, and “made admissions to being involved in the incident” at the marina, police wrote.
BPD arrested Blanchard on suspicion of driving under the influence.
According to BPD, Blanchard said he had waved to a family at the marina, and that the father “hit him in the eye and chased him with a knife.” He said he fled from them “and does not know why he was attacked.”
BPD wrote in court papers that Blanchard said he had “no recollection of children being involved in the incident.”
BPD said Blanchard described what he had done as a “party foul” and said it was “inappropriate.” He told police he was “trying to change his bad behaviors,” according to court papers.
“He also stated that he was a virgin, masturbates a lot, wants to have sex with a virgin, and masturbates to women and children,” police wrote.
On Jan. 21, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Blanchard with attempted kidnapping to commit a sex crime, which is a felony.
Blanchard has one prior conviction, according to court papers, for the discharge of a firearm with gross negligence in San Mateo County in 2006.
Blanchard is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Monday at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.