Man charged with holding knife to daughter's throat after police chase

Image 1 of 2

Kenneth Brown and Kendra Faith Brown (Tippecanoe County sheriff's office/South Milwaukee Police Dept.)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Additional charges have been filed against a man who allegedly kidnapped his 2-year-old daughter in Wisconsin last week and then held a knife to the toddler’s throat after leading police on a chase from Illinois to Northwest Indiana.

Kenneth O. Brown, 30, was released from the hospital Thursday and charged with felony counts of criminal confinement with a deadly weapon, criminal confinement of a child hostage with a deadly weapon, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle and intimidation with a deadly weapon, according to a statement from Indiana State Police. He was taken to the Tippecanoe County Jail.

It all started about 7 p.m. Oct. 17 when Brown kidnapped the girl and stole a gray 2011 Nissan Quest in South Milwaukee, according to ISP.

South Milwaukee Police Chief Ann Wellens identified the girl as Kendra Faith Brown, and said Brown was her non-custodial parent.

About 11 p.m. that day, Brown was stopped for a traffic violation in downstate Decatur, but drove away, ISP said. Police pursued, then lost the vehicle. About 3 a.m. Oct. 18, he stopped outside a Walmart in downstate Watseka, and told someone that he had kidnapped the girl and stolen the car, police said.

He was later spotted in Kentland, Indiana, where he drove away from police trying to pull him over, ISP said. The chase continued until the SUV got a flat tire near Lafayette about 5 a.m.

Brown “slammed on the brakes and a Newton County deputy rear-ended the Nissan, causing it to spin into the inside barrier wall,” police said.

Other police vehicles surrounded the Nissan, but as officers approached, Brown held a knife to the child’s throat, police said.

As they negotiated for the child’s release, Brown broke out the rear window, then “handed the child to an officer through the driver’s window and attempted to do bodily harm to himself,” according to ISP.

He was subdued and taken to a Lafayette hospital, before being transferred to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis with apparent life-threatening injuries, police said.

The girl suffered “a few cuts and bruises, but was otherwise in good condition,” police said. She was placed in the care of the Indiana Department of Children and Family Services until her family could take custody.

Police vehicles from Tippecanoe County and Newton County were damaged during the incident.

At the time of his arrest, Brown was charged with interference with parental custody, operating a vehicle without permission, and theft on warrants from the South Milwaukee Police Department, ISP said.

He was scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon, according to the Tippecanoe County sheriff’s office.