A Florida man was arrested on felony counts of kidnapping and grand theft auto after he allegedly stole a truck with two young children in the vehicle.
Kevin Smith, 37, was apprehended by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Pazmino Alvarez within a few minutes of the incident. Smith stole a 2011 white Chevrolet Silverado from a residential area of Tampa, Florida, at 6:42 p.m. Monday, containing two children, aged 4 and 8, according to Sheriff Chad Cronister.
“This situation could’ve been a lot worse had it not been for the swift action taken by Deputy Pazmino Alvarez. He halted what could have been an otherwise terrifying situation for any parent,” Chronister said in a statement. “Thanks to him, two children are safe and in the arms of their loved ones today.”
The sheriff noted that Alvarez was flagged down by the children’s father near the area of E 137th Avenue and N 15th Street shortly after having his vehicle stolen. “Deputy Pazmino Alvarez immediately pursued the 2011 white Chevrolet Silverado, and without losing sight of the vehicle, was able to conduct a traffic stop within just a few minutes,” the sheriff said.
Video footage released by the sheriff’s department shows the arrest of Smith, who expressed reluctance to exit the vehicle when Alvarez instructed him to. Smith claims worry about being assaulted by the deputy who assures him that will not happen.
One of the children can be heard during the video informing Alvarez, “That’s not my dad.”
Smith, whom the sheriff said has a criminal history dating back to 2003, is incarcerated at the Falkenburg Road Jail without bond.
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