Intoxicated Santa Maria man kidnaps boy, flees police

Paul Maldanado

A Santa Maria man under the influence of drugs and alcohol kidnapped a 3-year-old boy on Saturday. Paul Maldanado, 30, stole a car, ran over a family member and caused multiple accidents before getting caught, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m., Maldanado kidnapped the boy, stole a vehicle and ran over a relative in the 800 block of W. Las Flores Way as he began to flee, police said. Witnesses followed Maldanado’s vehicle and reported multiple traffic collisions to law enforcement.

Authorities launched a pursuit that included the CHP, a K-9 team and a sheriff’s helicopter, which provided air surveillance.

The CHP deployed a spike strip, but Maldonado’s engine stopped in the 100 block of E. Tunnell Street, bringing the pursuit to an end. Officers rescued the child and took Maldanado into custody.

The child was not related to Maldanado, police said. Authorities feared Maldanado would have harmed the child had he been allowed to flee.

Officers arrested Maldanado on charges of domestic assault, kidnapping, child endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon, reckless evading, driving under the influence of drugs, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and driving without a license. Police booked him into the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Maldanado may have had a relationship with the child’s mother. The condition of the injured relative is unclear.