Fort Worth, TX – Bodycam footage captured the moment when Fort Worth police rescued a six-month-old baby who had been kidnapped during a vehicle theft earlier this week (video below).
The horrifying ordeal began at about 7 p.m. on May 15, when a frantic woman called police to report a man had gotten into her vehicle in the 3300-block of North Pecan Street and sped away with her infant still inside the car, KWTX reported.
The woman’s brother-in-law later told KDFW that she had been dropping something off at his home near Long Avenue and Main Street when the incident occurred.
He said she parked her car in his driveway, then left her son in the vehicle while she ran inside for only a few minutes.
A neighbor happened to spot a man driving away with the woman’s car and alerted the child’s family about what had happened, KDFW reported.
Police immediately began searching for the stolen vehicle and ultimately tracked it down slightly over one hour later on Deen Road, which is approximately one-and-one-half miles away from where it was stolen, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The alleged thief, 25-year-old Elliot Cain Reyes, was arrested at the scene.
But when police searched the vehicle, the kidnapped infant was nowhere to be found and nightfall was quickly approaching.
“We were freaking out at that moment,” Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) Sergeant Ronnie Chau later told KDFW. “We had no baby.”
Sgt. Chau said officers put Reyes in a car and told him to direct them to wherever he had left the child.
Reyes allegedly guided them to a dead-end street in a residential area.
“It was getting dark, so we couldn’t see around too well,” the sergeant recalled.
They ultimately found the little boy near a ravine, strapped into his overturned car seat, KDFW reported.
“The baby was hanging on by the straps of the car seat. It was barely hanging on. His little foot was in the dirt area,” Sgt. Chau told the news outlet.
Bodycam footage showed officers running towards a barrier rail and hopping over it.
“Got it!” Sgt. Chau yelled out as he removed the wailing infant from the car seat. “Aw, it’s okay. It’s okay.”
The baby did not suffer any obvious injuries during the ordeal, The Dallas Morning News reported.
“I was just elated,” Sgt. Chau told KDFW of the moment he grabbed the baby up and knew he was safe. “It was like an hour and a half of just buildup of just, where is this baby? Where could it be? At that moment, it is just pure emotion and just letting it go.”
The child was returned to his mother after being examined by paramedics.
“She was very happy. She was just crying the whole time,” the sergeant recalled.
Reyes has been charged with kidnapping, auto theft, and abandoning/endangering a child, KWTX reported.
He was being held at the Tarrant County Jail on a $68,000 bond, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The family of the kidnapped infant said they recognized Reyes as someone who often rode his bicycle through their neighborhood, KDFW reported.
They said they found the abandoned bike lying on the ground when the car was stolen.
According to court records, Reyes has a burglary case pending from an incident that occurred in October of 2022, The Dallas Morning News reported.
He was also sentenced in 2021 to two years in prison after a separate burglary conviction.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below:
Fort Worth Police track down a 6-month-old baby after it had been kidnapped during a car theft. The child was uninjured and was reunited with their parent. The suspect was charged with kidnapping and auto theft. pic.twitter.com/E34HL7w0dq
— Jim Grimes (@jimgrimes) May 18, 2023