MOUNTAIN VIEW -- A 23-year-old Mountain View man was arrested Monday morning on suspicion of kidnapping two women in separate incidents, according to police.
In each case the women escaped after being held against their will in a vehicle, Mountain View police Sgt. Saul Jaeger said. In one instance, a 19-year-old San Jose woman was driving with the suspect in his Nissan Maxima when she intentionally crashed into another vehicle in order to escape, police said.
Police arrested Kenneth Middlebrook on suspicion of two counts of kidnapping, two counts of robbery and misdemeanor battery, Jaeger said. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will make the final determination on what charges to file.
"It's a strange case," Jaeger said.
In the first incident, a San Jose woman told police on Sunday she was approached by a man in the driveway of her Alviso home. The man, later identified by police as Middlebrook, convinced the woman to drive him in his vehicle to Mountain View.
The woman did not previously know Middlebrook, Jaeger said.
Once in Mountain View, the man became agitated and held the woman against her will, police said. The woman told the man she would drive him anywhere he liked. She then drove to the freeway and intentionally crashed into a Lexus at about 6:30 p.m. in order to escape.
The woman and the other motorist pulled to the side of the road and the woman exited the vehicle. As she told the other driver what had happened, he called 911. The man drove away.
"She was afraid and didn't have any other way," Jaeger said. "That's why she forced an accident. It forces everyone to the side of the road."
California Highway Patrol officers initially responded to the scene thinking they were investigating a hit-and-run collision, Jaeger said. Soon they heard reports about a kidnapping. and Mountain View police arrived to assist. Middlebrook's vehicle was located in a nearby parking lot but they could not find him.
A bulletin detailing the incident as well as a photo of Middlebrook was issued to California law enforcement agencies.
Shortly after he eluded officers, Middlebrook was suspected of kidnapping another woman, according to police.
Monday morning, a 61-year-old Mountain View woman called Mountain View police to report that a man entered her home at about 8 p.m. Sunday and forced her into her Lincoln Town Car. The man drove the woman throughout the East and North Bay for hours, not allowing her to leave.
Eventuallythe man stopped in the city of Ione, located about 40 miles southeast of Sacramento, and told the woman to wait for him while he got out of the vehicle, Jaeger said. After a few minutes the woman drove off, leaving him without a vehicle, according to police.
Middlebrook "was on foot, roaming around," when he was detained by Ione police. Mountain View police then picked up him up and took him into custody.
Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMgomez.