HUMBLE, Texas – Two Houston-area parents have been charged in connection with the kidnapping of their child by two men who took the couple's car while they were playing video gaming machines inside a convenience store, law enforcement authorities said.
The incident happened early Monday at a Shell gas station in Humble, Click2Houston.com in Houston reported.
Authorities said the parents -- identified as Kimberly Cook, 21 and Anthony Blue, 29 -- left their Chrysler 300 unlocked and running in the gas station parking lot with their 16-month-old son in the backseat while they went inside the convenience store to play on video gaming machines.
According to the clerk working at the time, the child’s parents were inside playing games for nearly 30 minutes. When they went out to check, their vehicle and their baby were gone. The clerk said the parents frequent the store and sometimes bring the child inside.
During the search for the vehicle, a park ranger was locking up MacGregor Park when he saw what he thought was an animal wandering around the parking lot, authorities said.
Upon a closer look, the ranger realized it was the toddler, who had been left at the park by the car thieves, deputies said.
The child was wearing a onesie and was shivering, but a responding officer with the Houston Fire Department said he was playful and doing OK.
“It’s pretty chilly out here and there are a lot of wild animals running around here so things could have ended up differently had a Park Ranger not come by here and located the baby,” said Kerry Clopton with the Houston Fire Department.
Authorities said the child was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
Authorities said patrol units located the stolen vehicle driving on the 610 loop near Highway 225 around 1 a.m. and after a chase, the vehicle came to a stop near TC Jester and the North Loop.
Deputies took two Jabari Davis, 18, and Vincent Cannady, 19, taken into custody without incident. According to authorities, Davis and Cannady are on deferred adjudication for previous felony offenses. Authorities said both had fled from the Harris County Young Men About Change facility earlier in the day.
Davis and Cannady are charged with kidnapping and auto theft. Davis also has an additional charge for evading arrest.
Cook and Blue are both being charged with child endangerment. Authorities said the child was checked and released to Child Protective Services.