Intruder attempts to grab child in Newton home

NEWTON, Kansas — A Newton neighborhood had a serious scare Thursday night when someone tried to kidnap a three-year-old child from inside her house.

A man who tried to break into at least four homes in the area of 5th and S. Walnut in Newton is reportedly at a mental health hospital.

Newton Police told KSN that around 11 p.m. on Thursday, a 20-year-old man broke into a home and grabbed a three-year-old girl from her bed while she was sleeping.

Police were in the area because residents had been calling about a man who reportedly tried to break into at least four nearby homes. The fifth home the man tried, he was able to break through a fence where he found a back door unlocked, and went inside.

“She starts screaming. One of our officers on foot heard the screaming coming from the house and went inside,” said Lt. Scott Powell with the Newton Police Department. “By the time our officer got inside, he put the kid on the floor and started trying to leave. The officer found him in the house and a scuffle ensued. The man was taken into custody.”

The officer involved broke his leg in the scuffle, and has been identified as a reserve officer.

“[The suspect] was clearly having mental health problems. He was rambling and not making any sense with what he was saying, so I’m not even sure he knew what he was doing in there,” said Lt. Powell.

Police continue to emphasize that this was not a targeted attack and that the man seemed to have been experiencing some sort of mental health episode at the time.

“He was not thinking rationally, he was not making sense talking. I don’t even know if he knows what he was planning on doing, and that’s the scary part,” said Lt. Powell.

Police said the intruder does not have a criminal record with NPD. His identity will not be released until he is formally charged.

According to Lt. Powell, pending charges in this case may include aggravated battery on a police officer, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated burglary.

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