It’s the sort of terrifying situation police officers are trained to confront but can never truly prepare for: a man holds a knife to a two-year-old’s throat as officers surround him, guns drawn.
Luckily, cooler heads prevailed on both sides and neither the toddler, the man, or any officers were injured in the tense standoff.
“He’s got the kid right in his hands, watch your fire guys,” an officer is heard shouting in the footage, captured on an Indiana State Police officer’s body camera.
“Do what you can, man. He has the (expletive) knife literally right next to her (expletive) neck,” another officer shouts.
According to the Indiana State Police, the standoff occurred around 5:00 a.m. last Wednesday on I-65 near Layfayette, Ind.
However, police say the full incident began the night before, when Kenneth Brown, 30, allegedly kidnapped his two-year-old daughter (who police say he did not have custody of), stole a vehicle, and fled the city.
At around 4:17 a.m., police picked up his stolen vehicle moving at a “high rate of speed” eastbound on US 24, and initiated a pursuit. When he turned onto I-65, Indiana State police joined the pursuit. According to police, Brown’s vehicle travelled in excess of 90 miles per hour (145 kp/h) and weaved into both the northbound and southbound lanes.
Eventually, a blown tire slowed him down, and the pursuit came to an end after a police vehicle struck Brown’s car from behind. Several police cruisers then surrounded Brown’s car to prevent his escape, at which point police made a startling discovery: Brown was holding a toddler, allegedly pressing a knife to her throat.
What followed was a tense standoff as officers surrounded Brown’s vehicle, weapons drawn, and tried to convince him to release the little girl.
“All you got to do to end this peacefully, put the baby down and let’s talk,” an officer pleads with Brown.
“Come on. Put the baby down. Throw out the knife. Throw out the knife. Nobody gets shot. Start with the knife. Come on man, do the smart thing!”
For several tense moments, police hold Brown at gunpoint while he cradles his daughter, threatening her with the knife in his other hand. Thankfully, Brown eventually heeds police demands and hands his daughter through a broken window.
“That’s when he actually picked up the child, handed him to a police officer standing outside the window and then attempted to take his own life,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley told WTHR News in Indiana.
Police then used a directed energy weapon to subdue Brown and take him into custody without any further incident.
According to police, the two-year-old suffered minor cuts and bruises but was otherwise unhurt. Kenneth Brown was transported to hospital, but was released last Friday and is now being held at the Tippecanoe County Jail.
Brown faces charges of criminal confinement with a deadly weapon, criminal confinement with a deadly weapon with a child hostage, resisting law enforcement, and intimidation with a deadly weapon.