According to the Florida Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, two kids who were abducted in a carjacking in October 2022 were found just minutes later.
While traveling through Tampa, Deputy Jonathan Pazmino Alvarez was stopped down by a guy who said that his truck had just been taken with his two young children still inside.
Alvarez chased after the man’s 2011 white Chevy Silverado right away and was able to conduct a traffic stop a short while later.
“Stop the truck now!” the deputy gave orders through the sound system of his police car.
One of the kids is heard shouting, “That’s not my dad!” when Alvarez orders the driver to exit the truck, according to footage captured by his body camera.
Authorities identified the driver as 37-year-old Kevin Smith, whose criminal record in Hillsborough County dates back to 2003. Two other kids, ages 4 and 8, were also in the truck.
The car was parked in a lot when Alvarez approached it. One child told the deputy, “This guy robbed my dad’s car,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Smith was arrested without additional incident. He was accused of grand theft of a car on one count and two charges of criminal kidnapping.
The two kids made it back to their father without any harm.
“This situation could’ve been a lot worse had it not been for the swift action taken by Deputy Pazmino Alvarez,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “He halted what could have been an otherwise terrifying situation for any parent. Thanks to him, two children are safe and in the arms of their loved ones today.”