Infant recovered safely after abduction from Mammoth Spring restaurant
An infant abducted from a Mammoth Spring restaurant Saturday morning was reunited with her mother after being recovered about 16 miles to the south near Hardy, police said.
The 4-month-old girl was taken from her grandfather at the Riverbend Restaurant, 80 Main St., just before 10 a.m. Saturday, Sharp County Sheriff Shane Russell said Saturday afternoon.
Sharp County Central Dispatch received a “call stating a male subject — identified as Charlie Martin, 38, of Woodland — had entered a restaurant, assaulted a male subject and kidnapped an infant child,” a news release from the sheriff’s office said Saturday afternoon.
Russell and Mammoth Spring Police Chief Jamie Turnbough both said Charlie Martin was the baby's father. The name of the infant was not immediately released.
Martin “and an unknown adult male passenger departed the restaurant at a high rate of speed in a white Ford pickup,” the news release said.
Units with the Sharp County sheriff’s office and the Hardy Police Department located the truck and conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of U.S. 63 and the U.S. 63 bypass of Hardy, Russell said Saturday afternoon.
During the traffic stop, the infant was seen being held by a passenger, the news release said.
Police said Sgt. Bryce Trivitt with the Sharp County sheriff’s office jumped into the window of the vehicle after Martin started to drive off. Trivitt “was able to pull the child from the vehicle,” the release said.
Trivitt then waited with the infant for further assistance near 4200 U.S. 62 in Hardy, Russell said.
The child was taken to the White River Emergency Room in Cherokee Village, where she was safely reunited with her mother, Russell said.
The Hardy Police Department and the Sharp County sheriff’s office reported pursuing the fleeing pickup, saying it nearly struck “several oncoming vehicles.”
The release said the Arkansas State Police used a precision immobilization technique, or PIT, maneuver to stop the truck after it entered “the small community of Ozark Acres,” and the passenger fled into the nearby woods. Ozark Acres is about 7 miles east of Hardy.
Russell said that Martin held a gun to his head and began a standoff on Vagabond Road that lasted nearly an hour.
“His gun was fired in the air, but he never pointed his weapon at anyone but himself,” Russell said.
According to the release, the sheriff was able to negotiate with Martin and get him to surrender. Martin was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries and will be held at the Sharp County Detention Center, the release said.
Martin was booked Saturday afternoon and was listed on the online Sharp County inmate roster. He faces felony counts of fleeing and possession of firearms by certain persons.
Russell said that no charges were filed against the passenger in the pickup. According to the release, that person “is not directly involved with the incident and no threat to the public exists.”
“The sheriff’s office also recognizes the actions of Sgt. Trivitt for placing his own safety at risk and Sheriff Russell for speaking to the suspect which led him to surrender. These actions allowed this incident to come to an end peacefully without injuries to officers or the public,” the release said.
Russell said he did not have crisis intervention training.
"There was a lot going on from the abduction to getting the infant back and then the PIT maneuver and then the standoff," Russell said, "And we are so thankful for all the help we received."
The release said that the Hardy Police Department, Highland Police Department, Cherokee Village Police Department and the Arkansas State Police provided support during the incident.