BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The man who was arrested for allegedly attacking his girlfriend and then running off with their newborn child will face charges of second-degree aggravated battery and false imprisonment, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Police arrested 38-year-old Marcus Hardesty after he allegedly tried to outrun police with his 6-week-old baby.
It all started around 9:30 a.m. Thursday at a home located in the 2200 block of Goudchaux Street. The initial call to police stated that a woman claimed her boyfriend choked her, but she escaped. She told them that she left her child inside the home and Hardesty left with the child.
Medics at the scene examined the child and said the baby is believed to be unharmed. However, the child was reportedly transported to the hospital to be evaluated.
Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what happened but said the man allegedly choked his girlfriend during the fight.
"The girlfriend was able to get free, get out of the residence and came running down the street asking for help," said Sgt. Don Coppola with BRPD.
Thomas Riley was at home just a few doors from the incident. He heard the noise and said once he made it outside, the woman was in his yard screaming.
"That girl was running down here saying her boyfriend was about to kill the baby and her you know," Riley said.
Riley said he and his wife let the woman call police, but once they arrived, Hardesty had already snatched the baby and took off. Riley heard his dogs barking in his backyard and let police know something might be back there.
"They saw him you know but like he ran through the neighborhood," Riley said. "I guess he jumped this fence right there and jumped the other fence too you know."
Broken planks litter Riley's backyard where the suspect tried to jump over his fence during the chase. Police were able to catch him in a grassy area, not far from where her allegedly took the baby.
When asked what kind of person does it take to try and harm a baby, Riley said "a crazy person."
"That's sick, real sick you know. I don't know what's wrong with these people," he added.
Police said the mother and baby were checked out by EMS and are both unharmed. Officers credit neighbors for helping them find the suspect so quickly.
"This is just a good example of showing the community and Baton Rouge Police Department working together as one we greatly rely on the community and in this case it shows," Coppola said.
Hardesty will be booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Thursday evening.