Florida man kidnapped girlfriend's 1-year-old at gunpoint, used child as human shield at McDonald's, police say

MSN

Florida man kidnapped girlfriend's 1-year-old at gunpoint, used child as human shield at McDonald's, police say

A Florida man was arrested after kidnapping his girlfriend's 1-year-old boy and leading police on a chase before using the child as a human shield outside


of a McDonald's last week, according to police.


The Flagler County Sheriff's Office responded to a home on Bunker Lane in Palm Coast, about 60 miles south of Jacksonville, on the evening of Sept. 27 regarding a report of a possible child abduction, according to a news release.


The boyfriend of the child's mother, 27-year-old Brandon Leohner, had abducted the 1-year-old "while armed with a handgun and was driving with the child in his lap as he left the residence," police said.


Deputies found Leohner shortly after driving recklessly through medians and speeding on Belle Terre Parkway and attempted to pull him over. The 27-year-old did not comply to the traffic stop and instead fled east onto Florida State Road 100, driving through oncoming traffic before turning into a McDonald's parking lot in a shopping center.


Leohner then exited his vehicle near the McDonald's drive-thru with the 1-year-old in his arms, using the child as a human shield and refusing to listen to police commands to put the child down.


Following a brief standoff, deputies deployed a taser on Leohner and rescued the child. Leohner attempted to flee and resist arrest but a K-9 and taser brought him under control and he was placed in handcuffs.


“Here is a case of a domestic situation turning violent, putting a 1-year-old child and innocent drivers in danger,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement. “Fortunately, the child was not hurt and was quickly reunited with his mother.”


Leohner was arrested and charged with "kidnapping, using a minor as a shield, resisting with violence, child neglect, fleeing and eluding and reckless driving." He was taken to a medical center to be treated for his wounds following his arrest and booked at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility Sunday morning, where he remains on $61,000 bond, Flagler County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Messod Bendayan told NBC News.


It was unclear Tuesday if Leohner has an attorney.



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