Police: Intoxicated, homeless man tried to kidnap child

State/Regional

An intoxicated and homeless man tried to snatch a child from a woman who was trying to give him money, DeFuniak Springs police wrote in a news release.

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — An intoxicated and homeless man tried to snatch a child from a woman who was trying to give him money, DeFuniak Springs police wrote in a news release.

The incident happened at First Baptist Church Pre-School on Friday morning. A 16-year-old woman was dropping off her niece when a man approached her and asked her for money, police wrote.

Jeffrey Thomas Caldwell

“While she was retrieving some money to give to him, the suspect opened her back door to her vehicle and pulled her niece out of the vehicle,” officers wrote. “This upset the 16-year-old victim as well as her niece.  She pleaded with the suspect to release her niece, which he eventually complied with.”

The suspect, 61-year-old Jeffrey Thomas Caldwell of DeFuniak Springs, then left the area while the victims went inside and called 911.

“Caldwell, who was intoxicated, admitted to obtaining money from the victim, but denied doing anything wrong,” officers wrote.

He is charged with burglary to an occupied conveyance while committing battery and kidnapping. Walton County records show Caldwell has several previous arrests for disorderly intoxication and trespassing.

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