Man arrested for armed break-in, kidnapping baby

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 19:15:28-05

St Petersburg police arrested an 18-year-old man for the armed kidnapping of a baby.

According to police, Antonio Peterson, a convicted felon, broke into the home on 25th Street South through a back window armed with a gun.

"When he flashed and brandished that gun, I decided not to get involved,"  said neighbor Carlton Gregg.

Gregg lives across the street and saw the whole incident unfold.

Police say Peterson pulled the child from his crib, then tried to ride away on a bicycle. The mother of the child was able to grab the bicycle and stop Peterson for a short time. Peterson then walked away with the baby boy and ditched his gun in a nearby backyard.

"I didn't want to get shot trying to be the good guy or the hero, even though I wasn't happy with what was going on," said Gregg. "He just dropped the bike and ran off with the kid."

Police won't release the relationship of Peterson to the baby, as not to identify the child. SPPD did say the suspect knows the baby and the baby's mother.

The report shows Peterson and the baby's mother were arguing prior to the break-in.

The baby's mother said she doesn't want to press charges, but police say that decision is out of her hands. Peterson is facing several charges including armed kidnapping and armed burglary.

The mother, who called 911 reporting the crime, changed her story several times while speaking with ABC Action News. She says the situation was a misunderstanding and believes all the charges (except for the charge for carrying a weapon) should be dropped.