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Police: Man abducted child in Wisconsin, involved in standoff with ISP with knife to child's neck

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Posted at 10:01 AM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-18 12:42:33-04

LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A man with a stolen van led police on a chase through three states with a child in the vehicle, police say. 

The incident started Tuesday at 8 p.m. when a man stole a van with a 2-year-old girl inside in Milwaukee. Indiana State Police say the suspect is the 2-year-old's non-custodial parent, 30-year-old Kenneth O. Brown.

Brown was stopped for a traffic violation in Decatur, Illinois around midnight, where he took off and police lost track of him. Police say he stopped at a Walmart in Watseka, Illinois and told somebody he kidnapped a girl and stole a van. That person called police. 

In Indiana, Newton County deputies chased Brown to I-65, when Indiana State Police get involved. Police say he was driving fast, but they were careful about trying to stop him with the child in the van.

On I-65 near Lafayette, he ran over stop sticks, then crossed lanes to drive north in the southbound lanes. A Newton County Deputy rammed the van from behind, causing it to spin out.

When the van was stopped, Brown held the child at knifepoint, police say. Some officers tried to negotiate with him, while another broke the car window. For an unknown reason, the suspect handed the child to police through the broken window. 

He then tried to kill himself, but was stopped by police. Brown was taken to a hospital, then lifelined to St. Vincent. Brown was wanted on three warrants out of South Milwaukee Police Department. They are for Interference with parental custody, operating a vehicle without permission and theft.  

The 2-year-old had cuts and scrapes, but is OK.

I-65 was closed near Lafayette Wednesday morning, but it has re-opened.

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