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Lafayette kidnapping suspect captured after fleeing mental health diversion program

Criminal proceedings against Kenneth David McIsaac are set to resume on Nov. 29

Jason Green, breaking news reporter, San Jose Mercury News, for his Wordpress profile. (Michael Malone/Bay Area News Group)

LAFAYETTE – A Lafayette man who was placed into a mental health diversion program to settle charges of holding a family hostage but later went on the lam has been captured, authorities said.

Kenneth David McIsaac, 32, was arrested Tuesday in Oakland and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said.

At a hearing Wednesday, Judge Julia Campins terminated McIsaac’s mental health diversion status at the district attorney’s request. Prosecutors said McIsaac is being held without bail.

On Sept. 24, 2022, McIsaac allegedly broke into a Lafayette apartment, forced a family to be tied up at gunpoint and held them hostage for five hours until they were able to break free.

McIsaac was charged with a dozen felony counts that included kidnapping, false imprisonment by violence, robbery, burglary and child abuse. He spent a year in jail while the case was pending, until roughly two months ago, when Judge Campins ruled that he qualified for a mental health diversion program that allowed him to stay at a hotel but required him to submit to drug testing and other supervision.

Prosecutors, along with one of the alleged victims, objected to placing McIsaac in the diversion program.

At a hearing in September, Campins said she believed the diversion program would do a better job of addressing McIsaac’s underlying mental illness than the prison system.

“If properly done and properly managed, it is actually safer to have someone receive treatment and guidance through this process than place them in prison for a period of time with no such treatment and then released,” Campins said during the hearing.

McIsaac left the diversion program on Oct. 24. A warrant was then issued for his arrest.

Criminal proceedings against McIsaac will resume on Nov. 29, according to prosecutors.