Charges against man who kidnapped friends' boy

Friday, March 13, 2015

Six criminal charges were filed against a Minneapolis man in connection with the kidnapping of a 4-year-old boy from the backyard of his home, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Xavier Kent Fritz-Smead, 24, was charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, third-degree assault, fleeing police in a motor vehicle and two counts of assaulting a police officer. He is expected to make his first court appearance Friday.

“As is almost always the case, the defendant in this kidnapping charge knew the boy and his family,” Freeman said. “This was a terrifying time for the parents and the neighbors who saw the child taken from the backyard. Everyone acted quickly, provided police with good information and officers from several departments helped stop the fleeing suspect and safely return the boy to his mother and father.”

According to the criminal complaint, Fritz-Smead had acted strangely toward the mother when she visited him over the weekend and Tuesday he called and asked to come over to explain himself. Shortly before 5 p.m., the woman and her husband heard Fritz-Smead shout her name and looked outside to see him throwing their son into his Toyota Camry and driving away from their house in the 6100 block of Russell Avenue S.

A Minnetonka Police officer spotted the car northbound on Interstate 494 near Minnetonka Boulevard and gave chase and was soon joined by others. Fritz-Smead went into the ditch near Minnesota 55 and I-494. Police had to struggle with him to remove the child from his grip. He continued to struggle with police until paramedics sedated him, according to the criminal complaint.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)