ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando mother says her 16-month-old's father attacked her so violently that she had no choice but to allow him to kidnap their child.
Sierra Brown shared her story with Local 6's Mike Deforest after she was reunited with her son Monday.
According to Brown, Timothy Strawter, the toddler's father, showed up at her home around 6 a.m. Monday. Brown said she thought Strawter was there to give her child support money for their 16-month-old, Adonis Strawter. Instead, she said he brutally attacked her.
"He definitely beat me up real bad, forced me to take my son, forced me to take him downstairs, to pack his bag, to pack clothes for him, diapers," said Brown.
The fact that Strawter didn't have custody of their child didn't stop him from taking the child, Brown said. As soon as they drove off, Brown said she jumped in her car and followed them.
"We went all the way down John Young Parkway for a while until he threatened to shoot me, and I lost him," said Brown.
That's when Brown said she pulled over into a parking lot and called Orlando Police. Authorities said they immediately launched a manhunt for the kidnapper. Throughout the morning, the mother occasionally spoke to Strawter by phone. Brown said he refused to hand over the toddler because he was afraid of being arrested.
Just after noon, Orlando police and the U.S. Marshal's Office tracked down the alleged kidnapper at the apartment complex where he once lived and arrested him.
Sky 6 was overheard as the mother was reunited with her son six hours after the boy was snatched from her arms.
"I was definitely excited to see him. I just needed to know he was okay," said Brown. "And when I saw he was healthy, happy, smiling, that's all I needed."
Brown said she does not believe Strawter kidnapped their son because he wanted custody. Instead, she said she thinks the child was abducted as a way to punish and hurt her.
Records show Strawter already had a lengthy criminal record. Now he will spend New Year's in jail. Authorities said Strawter has been charged with kidnapping, strangulation, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
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