The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

February 5, 2013

Anderson police arrest man after he flees with his baby

Infant returned safely to mother

ANDERSON, Ind. — Police arrested a man Tuesday afternoon after his girlfriend said he’d beaten her and abducted their 5-month-old daughter.

Anderson police arrested Hung ViOng, 32, on suspicion of Class C felony intimidation and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

Anderson Police Department spokesman Detective Joel Sandefur said the call originally came in as a domestic dispute from Autumn Ridge Apartments, where ViOng lived with his girlfriend and their baby, around 2:30 p.m. After police were told he was suicidal and had fled with the baby, it heightened the nature of the call, Sandefur said.

Anderson police immediately began a search for him and the child.

Since neither ViOng nor his girlfriend speak English, a relative from Washington state interpreted for her via the telephone and a local assisted police in communicating with ViOng. Sandefur said there was quick thinking and good communication on the uniformed officers’ part.

Within an hour after police began their search, a third party got ViOng to hand the baby over safely at a coffee shop on Scatterfield Road. But he fled the scene.

Sandefur said additional negotiations via phone convinced ViOng to turn himself in, and that he went back to the apartment around 4:45 p.m. where officers were waiting.

According to Sandefur, the mother told police through her translator that ViOng had battered her the last two days and made threats.

“He made threats that if she called police, he’d harm the baby and harm himself,” Sandefur said.

Police are still investigating the incident, he said, but ViOng’s actions allowed police to “address that issue (of the domestic violence). It really turned out good.”

Neither the baby girl nor ViOng was harmed, but because he was reported as suicidal, he was evaluated, Sandefur said.

ViOng is also wanted on a larceny charge in California, but since it’s a misdemeanor, Sandefur said, it’s unlikely he’ll ever be extradited.

It was not immediately known whether ViOng is a U.S. citizen.

The baby is back with her mother.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

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