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Kidnapping suspect led police on 3-state chase, held knife to child’s throat before arrest in Lafayette

Kenneth Brown

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Police arrested a Wisconsin kidnapping suspect this morning on I-65 in Lafayette following a three-state chase.

The chase started around 7 p.m. CT Tuesday night in Milwaukee after police say Kenneth Brown, 30, kidnapped his 2-year-old daughter, stole a vehicle, and drove south.

Brown made it to Decatur, Illinois around 11 p.m. CT. Police attempted to pull him over for failure to have his headlights on, but he fled the scene and got away.

Brown was spotted in Watseka, Illinois where he told a person at Walmart he kidnapped a girl and stole a car. That person called police, and Brown fled, driving east on SR 24 where he crossed into Indiana, continuing on SR 24 to I-65.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Department caught up with Brown, and he drove south on I-65. Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s deputies and ISP joined Newton County in the pursuit at SR 43. Police say speeds were over 90 miles per hour at times.

Brown got off the interstate at SR 26, drove into a neighborhood, and encountered another driver. He rolled down his window and tried to get the other man to take the girl from him. When the other driver refused, he turned around, got back on I-65, and started traveling north.

Police blocked the roadway, but he drove through the roadblock, crossed the median, and continued traveling northbound in the southbound lanes into oncoming traffic. Police say he traveled in and out of a construction lane that was not being used. For an unknown reason, he slammed on the brakes, and a Newton County deputy rear-ended the car, causing it to spin into a barrier wall.

Police surrounded the car, but he refused to surrender and held a knife to the young girl’s throat, threatening to harm her.

Police then broke out the back window of the car, and he handed the child over before putting the knife to his own throat, cutting himself.

Police used a taser to subdue him, and he was taken into custody.  He was transported to Franciscan St. Elizabeth Hospital and then flown to Indianapolis St. Vincent hospital for treatment.

Police say the girl has a few scratches, but she is in good condition. Brown is wanted on three warrants out of South Milwaukee Police Department. They are for Interference with parental custody, operating a vehicle without permission and theft.

All northbound lanes of I-65 have reopened, and one southbound lane is open. Police believe it will likely be that way for another two hours.