Austin, IN – An Indiana woman allegedly hopped the fence of a school playground and kidnapped an eight-year-old girl, then later ran naked down the street before brawling with police.
The incident occurred at Austin Elementary School on Jan. 2, WXIN reported.
Austin police received a report that a woman had come onto the playground and taken off with an eight-year-old student, and that she was last seen heading northbound on Howard Street towards State Road 256.
Police said they were soon flagged down by a man who had a little girl in the passenger seat of his vehicle, WXIN reported.
The man allegedly told them that his wife, 34-year-old Brittany Hurtt, had showed up at their house on Mann Avenue with a little girl who wasn’t theirs, according to police.
He said Hurtt then stripped off her clothing and took off running down the street, FOX News reported.
While one officer rushed the kidnapped girl back to her school, a second officer set out to locate the suspect, according to WXIN reported.
According to court documents, the officer located Hurtt “running in the street nude carrying two white trash bags.”
The officer said the suspect hit the patrol car and attempted to “yank the door open” before getting into a physical altercation with police, WXIN reported.
Hurtt allegedly kicked an officer in the chest and was ultimately forced into the back of the patrol car.
She then proceeded to scream and kick the back windows, according to police.
Hurtt’s husband brought clothing for her, but police said she refused to put them on, WXIN reported.
Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene so the suspect could be transported to the hospital for an evaluation.
But as police were trying to transfer Hurtt onto a gurney, she allegedly managed to kick another officer in the hand, WXIN reported.
According to court documents, Hurtt was “making statements about how the children were being taught by the computers and all the children needed to die.”
Police said she acknowledged that she was being arrested “because she kidnapped a kid,” WXIN reported.
Hurtt was transported to the hospital for an evaluation before being booked into the Scott County Jail.
Security footage from the school playground allegedly showed the suspect climbing over a fence in the schoolyard, grabbing the little girl, and hoisting her over the fence before she took off running with the child, WXIN reported.
Investigators also discovered Hurtt, who school officials said has a child who attends the school, allegedly attempted to abduct a different girl, FOX News reported.
Police said the child told them Hurtt grabbed her by the wrist and told her, “Let’s start a family,” according to WXIN.
The child said she was able to get free from Hurtt’s grasp, at which point the suspect kidnapped the second child, according to police.
The school district said it is reassessing its playground protocols to bump up students’ security and safety, FOX News reported.
The district has also confirmed it plans to build a taller fence around the playground and to have school resource officers patrol the perimeter more frequently, among other changes.
Recess has been suspended in the meantime, WLKY reported.
“We’re taking this very seriously and we are in contact with the Department of Education and with local law enforcement and we will make changes to do what we can to make sure this never happens again,” Scott County School District 1 Superintendent Trevor Jones told the news outlet.
Hurtt has been charged with kidnapping, battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety official, public nudity, criminal trespass, and resisting law enforcement, the Austin Police Department (APD) said in a press release.
She faces a maximum sentence of nearly 30 years in prison if she is convicted, according to WHAS.
“From the moment we got the charges this morning we have been working diligently to file every count that we could,” prosecuting attorney Chris Owens told the news outlet. “I’ve never seen a case like this.”
“We are going to see to it that she is in a place where she gets the help and treatment that she needs but also in a place where she can’t do this to other people in the foreseeable future,” Owens added.
Hurtt’s trial is scheduled to begin on March 20, WHAS reported.