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Sheriff: Man used baby as shield during standoff with Flagler deputies

Deputies say Brandon Leohner used a 1-year-old child as a shield during a standoff following a chase. He was charged with kidnapping.

PALM COAST, Fla. — A Palm Coast man is in jail after deputies say he held a baby up between him and lawmen last week during a standoff at a fast food restaurant. Brandon Leohner, 28, is charged with kidnapping and "using a minor as a human shield" after he abducted the 1-year-old while armed with a gun," a Flagler County Sheriff's Office new release states.

Leohner led deputies on a chase that ended in the parking lot of the restaurant. The suspected was Tased and deputies were able to grab the child when he fell. He was Tased again and a K9 was used to get him in custody, the news release states.

The incident began Sept. 27 when deputies were called to a home on Bunker Lane for a possible child abduction. Deputies learned that Leohner, the boyfriend of the child's mother, took the child while he was armed with a handgun and driving with the child on his lap, the news release states.

Deputies located the vehicle a short time later driving recklessly through medians speeding south on Belle Terre Parkway. The chase proceeded east on to State Road 100 before Leohner turned into the Target shopping center parking lot and then to a nearby McDonald's where he exited the car near the drive-thru with the baby in his arms.

Leohner is charged with kidnapping, using a minor as a shield, resisting with violence, child neglect, fleeing and eluding and reckless driving. The baby was not injured, the sheriff said.

Credit: Nassau County Sheriff's Office
Brandon Leohner, 28, was arrested after the sheriff said he used a baby as a human shield after taking deputies on a chase.

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