SOUTH SAN FERNANDO DISTRICT -- A Burbank pleaded not guilty Tuesday to
charges he kidnapped his former girlfriend and and hit the woman and her
13-year-old daughter in front of their apartment.
Appearing in Burbank Municipal Court, James Neihart, 40, pleaded not
guilty to two felony charges -- kidnapping and false imprisonment -- and
to two counts of misdemeanor battery.
Neihart was arrested Sunday after police were called to the 200 block
of East Providencia Avenue at around 8:50 p.m. by the daughter of his
37-year-old ex-girlfriend. The girl reported that her mother had been
kidnapped, said Burbank Police Lt. Larry Koch.
Police did not release the name of the woman or her daughter.
Neihart kidnapped the woman -- who had a restraining order against him
-- after she refused to talk to him outside her apartment, Koch said.
Police said Neihart attacked the woman before forcing her into his
car. When the daughter tried to break up the fight, Neihart hit her in
the face with the phone and punched her several times, Koch said.
The woman was able to get away from Neihart when his car stalled near
the apartment, but not without a struggle, police said.
Neihart allegedly ran after the woman, knocking her down and dragging
her before she was able to break free and get inside her apartment.
Neihart was arrested at his home in the 200 block of West Linden
Street a short time later.
He was being held Tuesday on $1-million bail in a county jail. A
preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 2 in Burbank.
If found guilty, Neihart could face up to nine years in state prison
for the felonies and 1 1/2 years in county jail for the misdemeanors.