A 24-year-old man is in police custody, accused of kidnapping a 4-year-old boy from a south Minneapolis backyard. Police and the boy's parents say Xavier Fritz-Smead unexpectedly snatched the boy, then carried him to his car and took off.
The nightmare unfolded right in front of 4-year-old Isaiah's mother, who was screaming for the suspect to put her son down. Instead, Fritz-Smead took off down the alley and sped past the front of the house.
Fritz-Smead, known as Xav, is a family friend who showed no signs he would ever do something like this.
"I just dropped to the ground and started screaming, because I just felt like I was never going to see him again," Isaiah's mother said. "I felt like he was going to kill himself and my kid."
With the 4-year-old boy in the front seat, Fritz-Smead was chased by police on Interstate 494. Isaiah's father sat with police, listening to the pursuit unfold over the dispatch radio.
"It was the absolute worst feeling I've ever had, listening to this, knowing my kid was in the car."
The suspect crashed and got stuck in a ditch in Plymouth, Minn., and that's where police caught up with them. Fritz-Smead struggled with police and is now at Hennepin County Medical Center.
"I got an owie right here from it," Isaiah said of the crash.
About an hour after the nightmare began, Isaiah was reunited with his dad in the back of the ambulance as he got checked out. He was in tears, but stopped to ask his dad if they could still go to the park.
"He just keeps apologizing and saying, ‘Daddy sorry I got took, dad.' It could have been so bad. We were so lucky, so blessed."
Why was Isaiah kidnapped?
No one knows for sure. Isaiah said the suspect told him he was going to adopt him, and his parents believe Fritz-Smead had recently shown signs of mental illness. The suspect's father didn't know what had happened, and said his son is a college student and a good boy.