AA Member Arrested for Attempted Child Kidnapping

Aniball Barris arrested in attempted kidnapping

A Lake City registered sex offender was arrested Tuesday at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Gainesville and charged with attempting to kidnap a neighbor’s pre-schooler.

According to the Lake City Police Department and the Florida Regional Task Force of the U.S. Marshal’s Office, Aniball Barris, 51, of 619 S. Marion Ave. in Lake City, was arrested Tuesday.

In a news release, police Capt. John Blanchard stated the Aug. 9 kidnapping attempt was reported by the father of the 3-year-old involved.

A family friend and a neighbor saw a man pick up the child and place his hand over the child’s mouth, according to police. The man let go of the child and ran when the friend yelled at him, Blanchard said.

Officers got a description of the man, but he was not found at the time. Investigator David Greear[a] developed Barris as a suspect and showed a photo lineup to the witness, who immediately identified Barris as the suspect, police reported.

Task force members said the U.S. Marshal’s Office got involved because of Barris’ lengthy history of sex offender-related crimes, which includes arrests in North Carolina, New York and Florida.

A spokesman for the task force said the search for Barris began in area hospitals because investigators got information that he may have been seeking care for an unspecified condition.

After a search of hospitals, investigators then began looking for Barris in AA meetings, ultimately finding him at a meeting in a church on Northwest 13th Street, authorities said.

Witnesses said Barris was called out of the meeting room before being handcuffed and the meeting continued.

Those involved in the arrest said Barris was very suprised when he was located and arrested.

Bond for Barris was set at $300,000.

Once again, here is AA’s General Service Board refusing to address the subject of child predators in AA meetings: “AA’s GSB Turns a Blind Eye to Child Predators in Meetings

  • SoberPJ

    Damn straight.. go right to where they are hiding and pull them out and cuff ’em. AA meetings are not sacred or protected, nor are the people in them. It is like meeting at a coffee shop, book store or anywhere else. Just because they have their Ouija meetings in churches does not give them ANY special rights or status. I have known/seen tons of people from other states in meetings. I wonder how many of them were wanted like this guy?

    I guess this puts a whole new perspective on when a stranger in a meeting says, “Hey, got any kids?”

  • I think that the most important part of this article is shown in this one sentence:

    “After a search of hospitals, investigators then began looking for Barris in AA meetings, ultimately finding him at a meeting in a church on Northwest 13th Street, authorities said.”

    There are 95 Churches in Gainesville:


    Only one is located on Northwest 13th Street:

    Grace Presbyterian Church
    Gainesville, Florida 32609

  • Ooops – make that 2 Churches:

    Parkview Baptist Church
    Gainesville, Florida 32609

  • Sally

    They knew he was a regular of AA? Wonder if he was previously sentenced to AA. Nice.

  • Rick

    I’d say the Baptist Church is more likely, they host three meetings on Tuesdays.


  • Yeah I noticed that. Grace Presbyterian hosts Gamblers Anonymous meetings, and none on Tuesday. It would appear that only the Alcohol and Drug 12 Step meetings have problems.

    Does anyone know if the courts mandate Gamblers Anonymous meetings?

  • I just wrote to the reporter thanking her for printing the truth. I see a pattern here. So maybe the big cities are run by AA but looks like in smaller towns they are printing the truth.

    We need to use this strategy. It can help.

    I sent her Sallys letter! Go Sally! Im back!!! and Im brown! Love that shave ice!

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  • MikeAugustine

    And the cops didn’t let him stay through the lord’s prayer? In my book he didn’t make a meeting.

  • hulahoop

    MikeAugustine says And the cops didn’t let him stay through the lord’s prayer? In my book he didn’t make a meeting.

    Now that is some damn fine muckraking right there! I don’t care who you are…

  • Here this man had a past of sexual offenses and he was attending Florida AA meetings
    sitting next to other AA members most likely unaware of his past,putting them at risk.
    AA invites sexual predators along with minors as well which is horrible.


  • Keeper

    Massive …notice where else he has been arrested? and notice us. federal marshalls…and remember i told you some of my son’s case was still open and left some an ongoing investigation in 7 states from nc to fl. ….i know this man’s face but i knew him under a different name….in nc. i do believe this is related…..and good to know us marshalls are still working on this since 2006.

  • Keeper- Nice talking with you today. You are so strong to have been through such a hideous loss with your son. And I so appreciate the work you do to catch the creep. I will take your advice!

    Anti d- that;s right. I spoke with an AA member 2 months ago who was wanting to make literature addressing this and when I told her there were 3 rd level sex offender being sent to the meeting she was speechless.

  • Ben Franklin

    G2K bye. Don’t agree.

    Squire Namaste. bye. That didn’t last long I thought you said you were some kind of a spiritual super dooper dude. Didn’t turn out that way. Standard AA meltdown.

  • mcgowdog

    If nothing else… I’d like to spend 5 minutes working that guy over with a bic razor.

  • Keeper- Are you saying you knew this man charged with child kidnapping?
    It is good to know he was caught-and so fitting to be at an AA meeting!

  • Keeper

    AntiDenial, yes ….my son was murdered by his AA sponsor, during which time i met this man. only he gave a different name than this. the end result of my son’s case was a 7 state pedophile ring brought down of men who deliberately targeted the AA rooms and often hid out in treatment centers when the ‘heat’ was on….while they were there they stalk out new victims. it has been 10 yrs since that occurred but in 2006 the us marshalls got involved and finally i got the help i needed to bring those men to justice but it left an ongoing investigation in those 7 states since then. and i do believe this is one of the men that was involved with that ring. Before you think i am bashing anyone or anything….I have been sober since 04-01-1988….but the safety that was in the rooms has left with court orders etc.

  • Keeper

    and as far as fitting to get arrested in an AA room….if you ask me i would say Creator did that just for me. 🙂 like the two men that helped get rid of my son’s body afterward….in the end murdered the guy they helped, out of fear he would rat them out when the case went national in 2006. another twist that i will say Creator did just for me. funny how when i just stick to my own spiritual principles and truly try to live by them….Creator will reward me in those lil ways. i consider it like getting a cookie for being good all day. laughing.

  • Keeper-my heart goes out to you. I heard your incredible about what you went through with your son being murdered by his AA sponsor on Massiveattacks radio show. Thank you for telling your story. I am sure it will make a difference in bringing awareness to the problems of Court mandated parolees to AA/NA. As some have pointed out AA/NA still has hazards apart from the judicial systems influence.

    I am so glad to see you posting on the site. I think someone was looking out for you too with the following events after your sons tragic death.

  • AnnaZed

    A bic razor? why? to shave him?

    [that is just weird]

  • MA

    If you’re gonna go after him with a razor, start with that molestache.

  • humanspirit


    Yes, he does have rather suspect facial hair. Always a bad sign.

  • Ben Franklin

    Why not a bic pen? You could give him a prison tattoo.