KPD: Kidnapping suspect arrested in Florida

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Knoxville Police Department announced the man suspected of stealing a vehicle that had a four-year-old child in the back seat in November has been arrested in Florida.

The child was found unharmed in the car, after the car was in a collision on Nov. 16.

According to KPD, officers responded to the Dollar General on Broadway at about 6:42 p.m. to investigate reports of a stolen vehicle. The driver had left a four-year-old child in the vehicle and parked in the fire lane before entering the store with the vehicle running.

While the driver was inside, an unidentified man walked up to the vehicle and sped away with the child in the backseat.

KPD said a family member in another vehicle saw the vehicle with the child inside exiting the parking lot and followed. When the two vehicles collided, the suspect stopped in front of Guy B. Love Towers on Armstrong Avenue, got out of the vehicle and ran.

The suspect, later identified as Cody Westmoreland, was arrested in Florida after a vehicle pursuit in a stolen vehicle, KPD says. Florida Highway Patrol arrested and charged Westmoreland with possession of a stolen vehicle, trespassing, felony evading arrest and resisting arrest.

KPD says he will be extradited back to Knoxville to face local charges of felony theft and especially aggravated kidnapping.