MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man has been charged with kidnapping after police said he stole a car with a toddler and baby inside.
Melissa Williams said it happened New Year’s Eve when the 23-year-old went to a Hickory Hill home on Glascony around 9 p.m. to pick up her niece from a party. She said she left the car running with two of her children inside while she went into the home.
“Just in less than five minutes,” Williams said.
But police say that’s all the time it took for Antonio Partee to jump into the car and speed away with Williams’ one-month-old and 3-year-old sons in the back.
“So, when I was coming out the house someone was screaming somebody just stole somebody’s car,” Williams said. “So, I ran down the street. I could still see the tire smoke. So, I knew which direction they went but when they started to fade my heart dropped.”
Police say Partee crashed a mile away at Winchester and Kirby although it’s unclear why. First responders took Partee and the children to Baptist East Hospital for treatment. Thankfully, the kids are okay.
“No scars no bruises nothing,” Williams said. “It was a sigh of relief when I saw them.”
Investigators say Partee first tried to steal a car just up the street from that New Year’s Eve party. They say he jumped in the driver’s seat but the vehicle’s owner confronted him and pulled him out. That’s when Partee allegedly ran to the car that was running with the kids inside.
Partee has been charged with kidnapping and theft of property ($2,500-$10,000). His bond is currently set at $30,000. His next court date is scheduled for January 4. He was not injured badly in the wreck.
“I still think what he’s charged with is not enough,” Williams said. “You scared my baby.”
Police gave Williams a citation for leaving her car unattended.
“I mean, it’s a lesson learned,” she said. “At least I have my babies.”