LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) — Deputies backed by a canine unit and a helicopter chased down a South Carolina man suspected of kidnapping a baby, eventually finding him eating at a fast food restaurant, his clothes bloody, according to authorities.
The baby, they said, was ultimately found safe.
“We all breathed a sigh of relief when we confirmed … that the child had been found, and we are glad the child is safe and unharmed,” Sheriff Barry Faile said.
The Herald of Rock Hill reports Gabriel L’Ambiance Ingram, 28, was sought on suspicion of taking the child of a woman he used to date.
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Ingram was accused of leaving Thursday with the nine-month-old infant from the child’s grandmother’s house in Rock Hill without the mother’s permission, according to a statement from South Carolina’s Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. A Rock Hill Police Department report said that Ingram sometimes visited the child but wasn’t the father.
An alert went out to law enforcement, and authorities said, a Lancaster County deputy spotted L’Ambiance early Friday in a pickup truck. The deputy then chased the suspect on a highway and tried to get him to stop, according to the news release.
While being pursued, the suspect — who was alone in the pickup truck — tried to turn onto a rural road and crashed into a ditch, authorities said. He then fled on foot and got away from the deputy. Investigators said they found a handgun and marijuana in the truck.
A canine unit and police helicopter joined in the search.
Later Friday morning, police received a report of a man fitting Ingram’s description and wearing bloody clothes at a fried chicken restaurant. After law enforcement officers arrived, he was arrested and provided information leading to the safe recovery of the child from a home in Rock Hill.
Authorities said Ingram was being held on charges including failing to stop for law enforcement, adding more could be added.
Doug Barfield, staff attorney for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, said Sunday that the sheriff’s office didn’t know if Ingram had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.