By Joe Johnson
A Gwinnett County man was arrested Tuesday after he kidnapped a child from a home in Auburn, according to the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office.
Prior to leaving the home with the 4-year-old victim, 26-year-old Lawrenceville resident Nicholas Austin Dempsey allegedly had a physical altercation with the child’s grandfather, the sheriff’s office said. Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith said Demosey kicked the older man in the head.
Dempsey and the child were later located as they were walking together about a mile and a half from the grandfather’s home, the sheriff’s office said.
The child was unharmed and returned To his family and Dempsey was charged with aggravated assay, simple battery against a person 65 years of age or older, kidnapping of a minor, and third-degree cruelty to children.
As of Thursday morning, Dempsey was being held without bail at the Barrow County Detention Center.
Authorities learned of the incident at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, when deputies were dispatched to 1506 Country Court in Auburn to investigate a report of a possible non-parental abduction of the child, according to the sheriff’s office.
When deputies arrived on the scene they learned that an altercation had occurred between Dempsey and the homeowner and that Dempsey fled after grabbing the child from within the home.
"It’s alleged he was there to collect some clothing items from the home," Sheriff Jud Smith said. "It’s believed he and the child’s mother, who was not on scene, had a relationship of some sort."
Smith did not say if there was a known motive for the abduction.
Deputies along with officers from the Auburn and Gwinnett County police departments saturated the area while Georgia State Patrol personnel searched from above in a helicopter.
Dempsey and the child were located walking on Wages Road in Auburn which, according to Google Maps is 1.6 miles from the home on Country Court.