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Man in custody after taking off with child in Mesa

Posted: 4:50 AM, Jan 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-05 16:59:38Z
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MESA, AZ — A suspect is in police custody after kidnapping a three-year-old he claimed was his child, leading police on a high-speed chase, and breaking into a Glendale family’s home in an attempt to flee from police.

The whole ordeal began around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning when Mesa police officers were called to the kidnapping report near Brown and Higley roads.

According to Mesa police, 26-year-old Tyree Strong claimed he was the father of a 3-year-old child, though he had “never been married to the child's mother, never established paternity and never went to family court to seek out paternal rights.”

Strong took the toddler from the Mesa home without the mother’s knowledge or permission. He then jumped into a black BMW and drove away with the child.

A Peoria police officer located Strong’s BMW around 2 a.m. after hearing of the kidnapping. The officer attempted to stop Strong, but the suspect fled, leading police on a high-speed pursuit for six miles.

After blowing several stoplights, Strong crashed his BMW near 75th Avenue and Orangewood.

According to police, Strong stepped out of the car and began pacing around the vehicle. At one point, Strong took the child from the car and held the three-year-old between himself and police, who had weapons drawn.

Strong once again got into his car, and placed the three-year-old in the front seat without a seatbelt. He began speeding at 100-miles-per-hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone. Police say Strong drove the wrong way on West Grand Avenue, and failed to stop at several stop signs and stop lights.

In a statement Strong gave to Peoria police after his arrest, Strong said he fled “because he panicked because he had been drinking and smoking marijuana earlier in the night.”

Strong was pursued by Peoria police for roughly four miles before he stopped, left the car, and broke into a home near 51st and Glendale avenues through a back window.

A woman who lived in the home confronted Strong in her kitchen, and attempted to fight him off as he grabbed and held both of her arms. Glendale police say Strong offered the woman money so she wouldn’t open the door for police.

The woman’s husband, who was in the couple’s bedroom, saw Strong struggling with his wife, and walked toward him.

Strong then grabbed the man, pulling his body in front of his own, and used the homeowner as shield as he walked toward a rear-door in the home. Strong once again instructed the homeowner not to open the door for police.

Glendale police and a K-9 entered the home as Strong held the homeowner and attempted to leave the home through the back door.

Officers were able to apprehend Strong, and no victims inside the home were injured.

When speaking to Mesa police after his arrest, Strong said he was “angry with the child’s mother for leaving the child with a babysitter and for going out to clubs.”

The kidnapped three-year-old child was unharmed and is safe.

Police would like to charge Strong with:
(1) Count of KIDNAP-RANSOM/HOSTAGE
(2) Counts of KIDNAP-APPREHENSION OF INJURY
(1) Count of CHILD/VUL ADULT ABUSE-INTENT
(2) Counts of AGG ASLT-ENTER RESIDENCE
(2) Counts of BURGLARY 2ND DEGREE
(1) Count of UNLAW FLIGHT FROM LAW ENF VEH
(1) Count of CRIMINAL DAMAGE-DEFACE
(1) Count of RECKLESS DRIVING