VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – A local man is behind bars after police say he crashed a stolen vehicle and took off, taking a five-year-old child with him.
Police say on Thursday a green Chrysler Le Baron was reported stolen in Terre Haute.
Just after 2 p.m. witnesses saw the Le Baron crash into a tree just outside city limits. Witnesses also saw the man inside it running away with a child who was inside the vehicle.
It was unclear what the relationship between the man and child were.
“Right now we have no information to believe the child was abducted or anything close to that. The information, all we have right now and we’re going to investigate that, is the male was accompanied by a small child,” Sergeant Joe Watts said.
Police were able to confirm that the boy is the suspect’s son.
After police and the K9 unit searched the woods, 27-year-old Joshua Johnson of Terre Haute was caught just a mile from the crash.
“Approximately one hour after the original crash one of our troopers located the male and small child walking out of the woods about one mile north east from the original crash location. Both were taken into custody immediately without incident, no problems. Both appear to be okay with just some minor scratches,” Watts said.
In the trunk of the vehicle was a small off-road motorcycle that officers believe was taken from a nearby residence just before the crash.
Police believe Johnson ran because the car and motorcycle were stolen.
Johnson was taken into custody.. As for the boy, he is with child protective services for now.
Preliminary charges include possession of stolen vehicle, operating while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of a property damage crash.