Hillsborough County, Fl – An alert Florida sheriff’s deputy rescued two little boys on Oct. 10 after a thief stole their father’s pickup truck with his four and eight-year-old sons inside it (video below).
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathan Pazmino-Alvarez was on-duty and working on another call on Oct. 10 when a panicked father came running up to him, WFTS reported.
“It was so quick. It happened within minutes,” Deputy Pazmino-Alvarez recalled. “Out of nowhere, we see this gentleman running behind his truck, yelling, ‘He just took my truck with my kids.’”
Bodycam video showed that Deputy Pazmino-Alvarez jumped into his patrol car and followed the truck.
The deputy yelled at the driver of the stolen truck to pull over through his public address system and the suspect eventually pulled to the side of the road, WFTS reported.
Bodycam video showed what happened when Deputy Pazmino-Alvarez approached the stolen truck and the two kidnapped boys started yelling for his help.
“What are you doing with the kids? What’s going on?” the deputy asked the driver.
“Roll the window down, bro,” he ordered the man behind the wheel.
“Um, um, um, this guy robbed my dad’s car,” a crying child inside the truck told the deputy in the video.
Deputy Pazmino-Alvarez ordered the suspect – later identified as 37-year-old Kevin Smith – to get out of the truck and at first, he resisted, the video showed.
“That’s not my dad,” one of the boys told the deputy.
“I know who your dad is,” the deputy reassured the frightened kids. “I saw him running this way.”
Deputy Pazmino-Alvarez was able to grab the keys from the ignition but Smith still refused to get out of the truck, the video showed.
“If I step out, you’re gonna punch me,” the accused kidnapper told the deputy in the video.
The deputy was eventually able to pull the suspect out of the truck and detain him in handcuffs, WFTS reported.
It was unclear whether Smith knew there were children in the truck when he stole it, but Deputy Pazmino-Alvarez said the children were clear about what was going on when he caught up with them.
“They were crying,” he said. “They were super upset. And as soon as they saw me, they lined up, they stopped crying and they pointed out like, ‘He’s not my father.’”
The deputy said the suspect didn’t say anything to authorities after he was read his Miranda rights, WFTS reported.
Deputy Pazmino-Alvarez said the tactics he used to take the suspect into custody were engineered to help keep the children safe.
“Typically for any high-risk call, we will have to draw our guns out and make sure that we got every person out of the vehicle one by one. But knowing that there were kids there, I didn’t want this person in front of the wheel to do anything irrational that could harm the kids,” the deputy explained.
He said the boys’ father was very relieved when he caught up with them, WFTS reported.
“At that moment, I talked to the dad, who was so brave. He just said to me, ‘I’m so glad you were there,’ and I looked back and said ‘Wow, I’m glad I was there, too,’” Deputy Pazmino-Alvarez said.
Smith was arrested and charged with one count of grand theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of felony kidnapping, WFTS reported.
He was held without bond, according to jail records.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below: