(CINCINNATI) — Dramatic 911 calls released revealed an Ohio father’s anguish as he chased down a stolen vehicle with his children in the backseat.
“Oh my God, he stole my truck! My kids are in the truck!” the father, Courtney Wells, yelled in a 911 call obtained by ABC affiliate WCPO-TV. “I’m in the car with somebody. We’re chasing him. He stole my kids! Please, I got three kids in that car.”
Colerain Police spokesman James Love told ABC News that Wells had left his 2004 silver Volkswagen Touareg running in the parking lot of the Pit Stop convenience store around 4:30 p.m. Saturday with three children – two 4-year-olds and a 1-year-old – in the back seat when he went inside the store.
Another man identified by police as Howard Mullis was standing outside the store smoking when he saw Wells leave the vehicle running.
“He saw the opportunity. I don’t know how much time he stood there thinking about it, but I guess he decided, I better do it before the guy comes back out,” Love said.
Mullis allegedly took off in the Volkswagen SUV with the kids in tow before their father could leave the store. Another man who saw the whole incident unfold offered to help Wells and the two men began chasing Mullis who was traveling at a high rate of speed, Love said. That’s when Wells called police for help.
Concerned for the children’s safety, Wells and the other man ultimately decided to stop chasing the vehicle. Roughly two hours later, an employee at an eyeglass store nearby called and said the Volkswagen was parked in the store’s lot. The kids were safe and sound in the back seat, Love said.
Mullis had apparently abandoned the vehicle, but was arrested later with the help of the convenience store where the incident began. Workers there had Mullis’ ID on file from past alcohol purchases and police were able to use that identification to track him down, Love said.
Mullis was arraigned Monday morning in municipal court on three counts of kidnapping and one count of theft, the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Office confirmed to ABC News. He is awaiting a grand jury on March 13.
Wells may face possible charges for leaving the kids inside his vehicle when he entered the store, Love said.
Wells did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment
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