Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 31, 2013

'I want the kid': Neighborhood mother is credited with driving away potential kidnapper; suspect, 63, a convicted felon, apprehended this week after short chase

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress


A slow-rolling, 63-year-old driver with an extensive criminal history ranging from DWI to jail escape apparently — and unsuccessfully —  tried to lure a 9-year-old boy into his maroon 1990 Lexus passenger car earlier this week.

"No one — no kid — was ever grabbed or touched at any time and the man did not exhibit any weapon we know of," Jacksonville Police Det. Jeremy Pate said. "But it was clearly a kidnapping attempt."

Before he was captured the next day by Jacksonville police, Jimmy Nicholas Pfeuffer of Jacksonville — a felon with convictions that date back nearly 50 years — was fairly blatant about his intentions to abduct the child. He voiced them to a horrified mother in full view of a yard packed with very young children.

Pate said Pfeuffer, according to the mother, appeared to be intoxicated at the time.

"He (Pfeuffer) drove up in his car and motioned one of the group of 6-to-10 year olds to his vehicle," Pate said. "He was sitting in the driver's seat and did not climb out. One of the kids walked up, and gets about two or three feet away. The man said something to him. The mother noticed what was going on but couldn't hear what the man was saying. So she walks up and asks the man what he was doing there."

Pfeuffer is alleged to have responded, "I want the kid."

The mother either couldn't hear him or couldn't believe what she was hearing so she asked him to repeat himself, reports show.

"Again he says, 'I want the kid,'" Pate said. "So she responds, 'You want this kid?' and he acknowledged that was exactly what he had said. So she responded, 'You're not getting anything here! You need to LEAVE!'"

Pfeuffer then drove off again — again, very, very slowly, reports show.

"He was not in any hurry to go — no hurry at all," Pate said. "He kept on going through the apartment parking lot and left."

That was Monday afternoon.

"As soon as he (Pfeuffer) was finished leaving the first day, a sheriff's deputy just happened to drive by the parking lot there and the mother flagged him down," Pate said. "She told him what happened. The deputy looked around but couldn't find any car that matched that particular description. So the mother went out and told everyone in the neighborhood to watch out for the vehicle."

On Tuesday, a neighbor contacted the mother and said, 'Hey, that car you told us about? It just drove through," the detective said.

"The mother had her stepson climb in her vehicle the second day he showed up to try to find him," said Pate. "When he did, the stepson flagged down an officer who put it out over the radio."

When Pfeuffer was spotted in his vehicle heading south on South Bolton after the second, Tuesday afternoon incident, a Jacksonville police officer attempted to stop him. But Pfeuffer refused to pull over. Instead, he drove another couple of blocks before deciding to stop.

"We're only talking two blocks but he fled enough to charge him with evading arrest," Pate said."He came to a stop on Sunnydale Drive."

Pate said news of the attempt really shook up the residents of the apartment complex, Little Creek Apartments, 645 Canada St., where the incident took place.

Pfeuffer will remain in custody in Jacksonville for at least the next six days as he works off an extensive amount of city traffic tickets, reports show.

When his bill to the city is satisfied, Pfeuffer will be transferred to Cherokee County Jail, where bond is anticipated to be set on charges of attempted kidnapping, a state jail felony, and evading arrest, a third degree felony, records show. Both charges are expected to range in bond around $10,000.

Pfeuffer has no apparent previous convictions for sex offenses, nor is he listed on any sex offender websites.

The charges for which Pfeuffer previously was convicted include Theft, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, and Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods,

During the 1960s and 1980s, and 1990, Pfeuffer did stints in Huntsville prisons for undisclosed offenses. At certain points, he was both paroled and had his parole revoked.