Two bizarre kidnappings happened this week that led to an arrest hours away from the bay area community of Mountain View where they both began.
It started on Sunday, April 27th when, according to Mountain View Police, “In cooperation with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Mountain View Police Officers drove to the 1400 block of North Shoreline Blvd. to assist officers with an accident that occurred on the freeway”. At 6:30 pm, “the female subject on scene had been the victim of a kidnapping and had intentionally crashed into another vehicle on the freeway in order to get away”.
The police reported that the victim told them “23-year- old Kenneth Middlebrook had stood in the driveway of her Alviso/San Jose home”. The victim told reporters that the suspect had approached her while she was washing and cleaning her car. Middlebrook used the excuse that he had his drivers license suspended and needed help driving his car to his dad’s house.
The 19-year-old female victim Daniela Alvarez drove the suspect to what she thought was his father’s residence in Mountain View in order to help him out. However after reaching an unknown residence, Alvarez seemingly snapped when no one was home. Middlebrook began to threaten and argue with Alvarez, telling her to get in the trunk of his car through a hole in his back seat. He began to choke and argue with her as she screamed for help. Then thinking quickly she was able to talk Alvarez getting him to quiet down as she began to drive his car again.
Now fearing for her life, Alvarez had made a quick decision to throw the suspect off his guard and to get help. Alvarez told police that she “then drove to the freeway and intentionally crashed into another motorist in order to get away”. She pulled over to the side of the road and quickly exited the vehicle and made contact with the other driver, explaining she had been kidnapped and was trying to get away. The male driver and Alvarez then called 9-1-1 to report what had just happened. During this time Middlebrook took over the car and drove away. He later ditched the car near Shoreline Blvd. after fleeing the scene. MVPD officers were not able to locate Middlebrook in the area where he had left the car.
Then again on Monday a second female victim contacted police to report she had been kidnapped from her home and forced to drive a man, later identified as Middlebrook, through the North and South Bay for several hours. According to MVPD, “Eventually Middlebrook stopped in the City of Ione and told the victim to wait for him while he got out of the vehicle”. Ione is 120 miles away in Amador County, southeast of Sacramento. After he got out of the vehicle, the 61-year-old female victim took off, leaving Middlebrook in the parking lot.
She then drove to the Ione PD for help. The female victim had explained what had just happened. Ione PD Officers quick thinking and action led to the apprehension of Middlebrook several blocks from where he had exited the vehicle.
Officers detained Middlebrook until Mountain View Police Detectives took him into custody. According to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office, “He has been charged with two counts of kidnapping, one of robbery, one of assault with a deadly weapon, and one residential burglary”. Middlebrook was arraigned Thursday, May 1 at 1:30 pm in Dept. 88 at the Santa Clara County Courthouse in Palo Alto.
“My son is sick. He’s mentally sick.”Jeff Middlebrook told reporters. “My fear is that they’re going to send my son to regular prison, where he will become worse than he is now.” Middlebrook, an Iraq war veteran, was arrested earlier this year on New Year’s Day and again in February on drug related charges.