Charges: St. Paul man kidnapped son, threatened to kill him

A St. Paul man has been criminally charged after he allegedly took his 7-year-old son in July and threatened to kill him.

Johnny Bernard Daniels, 34, is charged with kidnapping to commit great bodily harm or terrorize. He made his first court appearance Friday.

Court documents say Daniels, his son and the boy’s mother were in Wisconsin Dells for a soccer tournament on July 31. Daniels told the boy’s mother, who has full custody of the child, that he was going to take his son to the water park in the morning. However, he later called and said he was taking the child to Minnesota.

When the boy’s mother objected and told Daniels to bring the child back, the criminal complaint states Daniels told her, “you’re never seeing him again” and then hung up.

The complaint continues, saying Daniels then started threatening to harm the child and allegedly told the boy, “You’re gonna die today.”

The boy later told authorities that he tried to run away twice but Daniels caught him both times, put him back in the vehicle, locked all the doors and then threatened him.

According to the complaint, the boy’s mother got to her home in Vadnais Heights that afternoon and called law enforcement. Daniels then told her he’d bring the boy to her so he could change clothes before leaving again. However, he changed his mind several times and kept changing the time he planned to stop by.

The boy’s mother also contacted Daniels’ mother and sister to try to calm him down and get him to bring the child home. Daniels’ sister later told authorities that he threatened to kill his son because he wanted the boy’s mother “to know what it felt like to not have access to her kids.”

Deputies waited for him to arrive and then surrounded his vehicle and arrested him.

The complaint notes that Daniels has prior felony convictions for terroristic threats, domestic assault and criminal sexual conduct, and he’d been released from the Minnesota Department of Corrections just three months earlier.

He was also charged with making threats of violence in connection to the incident but those charges were dismissed on Wednesday.

A kidnapping conviction carries up to 40 years in jail and a $50,000 fine.