California

Kidnapping suspect jumped into Kern River. A two-hour standoff ensued, police say

A kidnapping suspect who held Bakersfield police at bay for two hours Monday in the rushing waters of the Kern River was in custody Tuesday after surrendering to officers.

Police said Matthew Queen, 42, fled for the banks of the Kern River about 3:30 p.m. Monday. He managed to make it to the middle of the river where he grabbed onto a concrete support pillar, police said in a news release late Monday. Officers judging the river current and other hazards pulled back, called in Bakersfield and Kern County fire units, planned for a possible rescue and waited out their suspect.

Officers were probing what Bakersfield police officials Monday called an ongoing kidnapping investigation when they spotted Queen, 42, in the 2900 block of Buck Owens Boulevard near the river, officials said.

Queen immediately fled for the water between the city’s Beach and Yokuts parks and the chase was on.

Queen held off police and refused orders to return to dry land as officers began to negotiate his surrender. Queen gave himself up about 5:30 p.m. Monday, two hours into the standoff, police said in a news release late Monday.

Queen faces a slew of charges including kidnapping, possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon, conspiracy and resisting arrest, Kern County booking records show.

Queen is being held in Kern County sheriff’s custody in lieu of $150,000 bail. A court date is set for Thursday.

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Darrell Smith covers courts and California news for The Sacramento Bee. He joined The Bee in 2006 and previously worked at newspapers in Palm Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Marysville. A Sacramento Valley native, Smith was born and raised at Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville.
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