Father chases Berkeley kidnapping suspect with knife, suspect later arrested

A man has been arrested and charged with trying to kidnap a 3-year-old girl for sexual purposes at the Berkeley.

Berkeley police say the girl was with her parents near the city pier on Jan. 17 when a man waved at her and then put his hand on her shoulder.

The girl's mother grabbed her daughter and confronted the man. The girl's father chased after the man with a knife as he drove out of the marina. The family even jumped into their car and chased him to 6th Street and University Avenue.

"Understandably, the father was upset that somebody was trying to take his child and of course went after the suspect," said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley police spokesman.

"He was able to get photographs of the suspect and the vehicle, which ultimately allowed officers to be able to catch the suspect later," White said.

The mugshot of the suspect, Bryan Blanchard, 42, shows a visible knot under his left eye. That's because the girl's father managed to punch him as he tried to get away.

Alameda County prosecutors have charged the suspect with attempted kidnapping to commit a sex crime. The charge was the result of statements made by Blanchard to investigators in which he described his sex habits, authorities said.