SALINA — A terrifying scene played out outside Salina Elementary School Monday when a number of people witnessed what appeared to be two men abducting a 6-year-old boy from his mother's arms.
"They told her 'We've got a gun. Don't be stupid. Just give us the boy,' " said Chief Greg Harwood of the Salina City Police Department.
The suspects are the boy's father, Brandon Allen, and the boy's uncle, Carson Allen. Both men are being held in the Sevier County Jail.
"The two men ganged up on her, got in front of her, kept her from going back into the school, and actually physically dragged that boy away," Harwood said.
As the drama unfolded, two men tried to come to the boy's rescue.
"The neighbors see the commotion and try to help," Harwood said. "They think it's an abduction, and the one guy actually gets hit by the car while they are driving away. The other guy, they threaten: 'Back away from the car. We've got a gun.' "
Harwood began following the suspects but waited for backup before stopping the car on I-70. The suspects were arrested without incident, and the boy was recovered unharmed but "scared to death," Harwood said.
The children become the victims, and it's not right. It's not fair.
–Chief Greg Harwood, Salina Police Department
According to police, the boy's parents had recently separated and are fighting over custody of the boy. Both currently have legal rights to the child, who was returned to his mother.
"He certainly could have been injured physically," Harwood said. "He was absolutely injured emotionally. The children become the victims, and it's not right. It's not fair."
The suspects remain in jail as prosecutors screen possible charges of reckless endangerment, child abuse, and aggravated assault.