‘Ding-dong ditch’: NorCal man accused of kidnapping kid who pranked him

California

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KRON) — A Northern California man was arrested after allegedly kidnapping and threatening a child who repeatedly rang his doorbell and ran off as a prank.

San Rafael police officers say it happened on Point San Pedro Road in the city of San Rafael on Feb. 12. A witness told authorities they saw an older man yelling at a boy, grabbing him aggressively and then both getting in the man’s dark colored sedan, which drove off.

Police searched the area for the suspect vehicle when a person flagged an officer down. The woman told the officer that her son had been in a group that was “ding-dong ditching” houses nearby.

She told officers that one of her son’s friends had been chased by a man who lived in the area. At the same time, SRPD dispatch received a call from the father of the boy stating that his son, who had since returned home, had been victimized by the man.

In an interview with police, the 11-year-old boy said he and his friends were ringing people’s doorbells and running away. At one of the houses, the man chased the group of boys.

The victim said the man got into a car and chased them. He then blocked the boy’s path with his car and got out of his car. He then began yelling at the boy, grabbed him by the neck and forced him to the ground, officials say.

And when he got back on his feet, the boy said he was pushed into the suspect’s car and the man told him he was going to take him to his parent’s house. The man also told the boy that if he ever rang his doorbell again, he would “put a bullet in his head”, the boy claims.

The suspect then dropped the boy off near Point San Pedro Road and Loch Lomond Drive. After being dropped off, the boy ran home and reported what happened. He had redness around his neck but did not require medical attention.

Around 1010 p.m., SRPD officers went to the suspect’s address. He was identified as 63-year-old Dean Taylor of San Rafael.

When Taylor answered his door, he immediately asked the officers if they were there because of the kids.

He told officers that the kids rang his doorbell at least four times prior and that he was “fed up.” Taylor said he waited for the next time and when it happened, he went out and chased the kids.

Taylor told officers that when he caught up to one of the kids, the kid denied being the one who rang his doorbell. He did say he told the boy he was going to take him home, but denies grabbing the boy around the neck and threatening to put a bullet in his head.

After investigating, SRPD officers arrested Taylor and booked him at the Marin County Jail for kidnapping and death threats.

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