A 23-year-old Manteca man surrendered himself Wednesday afternoon after allegedly taking his 24-year-old girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter from their apartment against their will.
Benjamin Diaz, 23, was arrested and booked into the San Joaquin County Jail Wednesday afternoon on charges of spousal abuse, robbery, burglary and willful cruelty to a child. According to Manteca Police, Diaz showed up at the house of his estranged girlfriend – whose name is being withheld because of domestic violence and child abuse reporting laws – shortly before 10 a.m. and tried to force his way inside.
A neighbor called 911. When police arrived on the scene they found a kicked-in front door and an empty apartment – believing that Diaz had taken the woman and the girl in his Chrysler 300 and fled the scene.
Evidence in the apartment led officers to believe that there had been some sort of a struggle.
Because of the age of the child and the nature of the unfolding crime the procedures to initialize a statewide Amber Alert had begun, but were never finalized.
Detectives that got involved were able to contact a family member and learn that Diaz had both the woman and the girl,. He contacted Manteca Police dispatch shortly thereafter to inquire as to why police were looking for him. He hung up before any additional information could be gleaned from him.
Diaz called back an hour later and told dispatchers where he was located. Detectives that were in the area – near South Union Road and Daniels Street – were able to quickly locate the vehicle that he was driving, which also contained both victims. He was taken into custody without incident. Both victims were unharmed.