Twenty-seven-year-old Brandon Matthew Douglas Leohner is in police custody after allegedly using his one-year-old child as a shield during a recent incident involving law enforcement in Flagler County, Florida.
According to arrest records, Leohner was arrested on September 27 for multiple charges, including resisting an officer during an arrest, aggravated assault, child neglect, kidnapping, and using a child as a human shield.
A shocking video of the incident was released by law enforcement, showing Leohner holding the baby in front of his chest as deputies approached him.
According to a release, the incident began around 6 pm when they received a call about a possible child abduction involving a one-year-old.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to a possible child abduction involving a one-year-old. The call described how Leohner took the child while armed with a handgun and then drove away with the youngster in his lap.
Deputies later located a man driving recklessly, speeding into oncoming traffic, and driving through medians.
According to the sheriff’s office, officials attempted to stop the man, but he sped from the scene.
Leohner eventually pulled into a McDonald’s parking lot and jumped out of his car with his one-year-old still in his hands.
Instead of placing the child gently on the ground, Bodycam footage shows Leohner holding the child close to his chest as multiple deputies approach him.
Officers can repeatedly be heard telling Leohner to place the child on the ground, which he does not do.
“Put the baby down, put the kid down!” yells one deputy.
Leohner continues to ignore the demands, further endangering the child.
One officer pulls out his taser as he yells “Get on the ground now!”
The poor baby is held only by one arm and is whipped around in all the commotion. Leohner continues to hold the boy in front of his chest and head to protect himself from deputies.
The officer holding the taser sees the need to get the child to safety as the situation continues to escalate. He fires his taser at the man bringing him to the ground.
Officers quickly rush in to rescue the baby. Sadly the terrified child can be heard crying out for his “Dada”.
Surprisingly, the man continues to evade the officers and sneaks out from under a car and tries to run again. Leohner is eventually tackled to the ground.
The 27-year-old, though surrounded by officers, continues to resist arrest. The video shows a K-9 being used to get Loehner under control.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said, “Our deputies did everything they could to quickly rescue this child safely from a madman and apprehend the suspect. Fortunately, the child was not hurt and was quickly reunited with his mother.”
He continued saying, “Here is a case of a domestic situation turning violent, putting a one-year-old child and innocent drivers in danger. Deputies were confronted with a very chaotic situation and a very combative individual that was putting his child at risk by using the child as a shield.”
Leohner was taken to a hospital for his injuries and was later transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility.
Leohner is currently awaiting trial without bail.