Hall County

Teen arrested for stealing truck, kidnapping child while parents were in the store

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Gainesville Police arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with the theft of a truck outside a CVS Pharmacy on Sunday night.

Inside the truck, was an eight-year-old boy.

“These parents went inside and came outside, and the child was gone. So, I can’t imagine the panic that was there for them,” said Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Police say the child’s parents told them they assumed they had turned off the truck and locked the doors with their key fob when they went into the store to pick up some items.

While they were inside, police say Ashon Fussell jumped in the truck and drove away. The truck was found abandoned a short distance away on Jesse Jewell Parkway.

“We do believe he realized there was a child in the vehicle, panicked, and then fled on foot,” said Holbrook.

The child was unarmed.

A national non-profit organization with a mission to save the lives of children in and around vehicles, says the number of incidents of children driven away in stolen vehicles is alarming.

“Every year we document hundreds of children that are left alone in vehicles, that are then stolen with them inside. Most of the time these children end up getting dumped on the side of the road, or left somewhere unharmed. But that’s not always the case. We have high-speed chases that ensue. We have several where the child was killed. We have a couple where the child was left in the car and died from heat stroke,” said Kids and Car Safety founder Amber Rollins.

Rollins says kids left alone in cars face other dangers.


“We have documented thousands of cases where children have been strangled to death by power windows or seriously injured by power windows. Children get out of the car and are run over. They find something in the car, and they choke on it. They find a gun under a seat. The list goes on and on,” said Rollins.

She said while it may be inconvenient at times, parents should always take their children with them.

“Never leave your child alone in a car under any circumstances,” said Rollins.

Police say they arrested the teen the day he stole the truck, as he attempted to steal a bike.

He faces charges including kidnapping and theft by taking.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]


Comments on this article