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March 4, 2021

Kidnapping suspect posts bail

The man accused of attacking his girlfriend and kidnapping her from a local bar bailed out of jail while he awaits his next scheduled hearing.

Christopher Franco, 21 of Morgan Hill, posted $75,000 shortly after he was arrested and placed in custody at Santa Clara County Jail, Santa Clara County district attorney’s office spokeswoman Lisa McCrary said.

His next hearing is scheduled for March 13 at South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill, McCrary said.

Morgan Hill police arrested Franco Jan. 22 after witnesses said he entered the M & H Tavern and kidnapped his girlfriend. Franco allegedly entered the bar at 17365 Monterey Rd. and approached a woman who was sitting at a table with a group of other customers.

Franco allegedly grabbed the woman by the neck and dragged her outside through the bar’s rear door, police said. Once they were outside, the suspect punched the woman in the face and pulled her into a vehicle that was waiting for him.

The vehicle fled the scene, police said.

Officers were able to get a description of the suspect and the name of the victim, who left her ID card at the bar, police said. That information led police to a Morgan Hill residence where they found the suspect and the victim, who are in a dating relationship.

The victim was unconscious in a bedroom, bleeding from her nose, police said. She was transported to an area hospital by ambulance and treated for a broken nose.

The suspect was later identified by witnesses, police said.

Prosecutors charged Franco with kidnapping, domestic abuse causing great bodily harm and making terrorist threats, McCrary said.

Morgan Hill police have arrested Franco a number of times before the January incident, and Sgt. Troy Hoefling said his release on bail concerns the department.

“It is his right to post bail, but we have to keep an eye on him,” Hoefling said.

Franco is a validated Norteno street gang member, and has been arrested on previous unrelated suspicions of trespassing, vandalism, petty theft and a probation violation, Hoefling said.

He was also reported as a victim of an assault with a deadly weapon in September 2010, Hoefling said.

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