A 51-year-old man was behind bars Thursday on suspicion of attempting to kidnap a toddler from a nanny's arms in a La Jolla park, police said.
It happened around 4:20 p.m. Wednesday at a small neighborhood park on La Jolla Hermosa Avenue, just east of La Jolla Boulevard, San Diego police Officer Robert Heims said.
A man began harassing a nanny caring for a 1-year-old child, then grabbed the nanny's arm several times and pulled on it while "telling her to leave the baby and she can't have the baby," Heims said. The nanny suffered scrapes on her arm.
A woman who witnessed the incident yelled at the man, telling him she was calling the police, he said. The suspect then ran off, and when police found him, he swam into the water along a rocky area near La Jolla Cove.
Officers took the man into custody about three hours after he first went into the water, Heims said.
The man, identified as 51-year-old Michael Hudson, was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of felony kidnapping, misdemeanor battery, felony vandalism and a felony hate crime charge, according to jail records.
It was not immediately clear why he was potentially facing a hate crime charge in connection with the alleged kidnapping attempt.