COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – A South Florida family drove up to Central Florida Monday night after police said a 17-year-old snatched his baby from the arms of his son’s mother and headed north.
The family returned to their Coconut Creek apartment on Tuesday morning with Joshua Pachon Quintero, who will turn three weeks old on Wednesday.
They said he was in good health and they are thankful to have him home.
According to Coconut Creek police, officers were dispatched at 2:30 p.m. Monday to the 4900 block of Fisherman’s Drive in Coconut Creek to investigate a domestic dispute.
Police said they determined the suspect, Jonathan Garcia, 17, forcibly removed his son from the child’s 15-year-old mother.
Witnesses told investigators the suspect was seen hitting and shaking the child as he was running away from the scene.
The child’s mother, Laura Pachon Quintero, has a restraining order against Garcia. She told Local 10 News that Garcia beat her when she was eight months pregnant.
“He is crazy,” Pachon Quintero told Local 10 News in Spanish. “My child is in danger.”
Garcia had been on the phone with Pachon Quintero during the time since he took their son.
According to police, the investigation initially revealed that Garcia took an Uber with the child to Oakland Park.
It is not immediately known how Garcia and the child got from Oakland Park to Apopka.
The Apopka Police Department confirmed Garcia was arrested in their jurisdiction.
Coconut Creek police say Garcia has been charged with kidnapping, child endangerment, domestic battery and simple battery. He was being held at a juvenile detention facility in Orange County, but is expected to be extradited to South Florida.
“Please help me. Please don’t let him loose,” Pachon Quintero said. She told Local 10 News’ Sanela Sabovic on Tuesday that since returning home, she is not feeling well and plans to return to the hospital.
Joshua was taken to Advent Health in Apopka, where he was picked up by his mother and other relatives.