Fresno Kidnapping Suspect Nabbed After Standoff

Submitted by KMPH viewer

A man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Fresno girl is now in custody after leading officers on a three-hour stand-off Wednesday morning.

Deputies were tipped off to the El Cazador Apartments at Cedar and Shaw overnight for reports of a truck matching the description released by Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies Tuesday night.

Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, they searched an apartment at the complex, but did not find the accused kidnapper.

Within minutes, they focused their efforts to the area of National and Winery in Clovis, where they carried out a second search.

Sheriff's Spokesman Chris Curtice says SWAT officers spotted 23-year-old Kalvin Michael Cardenas in the home. They made contact over the phone, but he quickly hung up.

Over the next several hours, they communicated with him over a bullhorn, and eventually used tear gas to force him out of the home, which is located about a mile and a half from where the girl was taken.

Just before 8 a.m., Cardenas left the home looking disheveled.

The home is located across the street from Viking Elementary. Fresno Unified School District spokeswoman Susan Bedi said the students were being escorted around the campus during the standoff. She added that all outdoor activities were canceled for the day.

Curtice commended the girl for giving investigators descriptive information about the incident.

"She was a trooper. She gave us great information. She worked very well with the detectives and very astute, very well-spoken little girl, and she did a great job," he said.

Authorities believe Cardenas kidnapped the girl shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Rialto and Barton as she was walking to school.

Detectives say he drove the girl to a remote area near Kerman, tied her up, sexually assaulted her and then left her in a field.

She freed herself and started looking for help.

A man and his wife found the girl around 3:45 p.m. near Highway 180 and Napa.

"I seen this little girl walking down the street, which was odd, because it's a busy road and we're out in the middle of nowhere," Fortunato Martinez told KMPH News Tuesday afternoon. "She just had a shirt on, she was pretty disoriented, looking down the whole time. Scared. Wanting to talk to her mom."

The couple called police, and the girl was taken to the hospital where her parents met up with her.

As KMPH News was first to report Wednesday morning, this would not be Cardenas' first time accused in a kidnap-related case.

The Dinuba Sentinel reported in May that Cardenas was arrested after a girl accused him of attempting to lure her into his pickup truck on her way to school. The Sentinel reported that a school janitor helped track Cardenas down and led officers to his location.

According to the report, Cardenas was booked into the Tulare County Jail on suspicion of annoying or molesting someone under the age of 18. He was also booked on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm in a car.

KMPH News spoke to someone at the Tulare County District Attorney's Office late Wednesday morning who said no charges were filed, but the case is still open. That person told us it was sent back to the Dinuba Police Department for more information back on May 21, but they still have not received a reply.

Stay with KMPH News and as we continue to follow this story.