Spotting kidnapping in progress, Topeka police say traveler helps nab suspect

Local News

David Scott Baker (Courtesy Photo/Shawnee County Department of Corrections)

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A man traveling the country for veteran suicide awareness helped stop a kidnapping Thursday, according to the Topeka Police Department.

Darren Hafford does push-ups in Topeka to raise awareness about veteran suicide. (KSNT Photo/Cassie Nichols)

A U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran, Darren Hafford made a goal to travel the United States and do 50 push-ups in every state to combat veteran suicide. While visiting Topeka for this project, he saw a man get into a car where an 86-year-old woman was in the passenger seat. When the woman appeared in distress and the man drove away, Topeka police said Hafford called them.

Hafford spotted the kidnapping and car theft around 8:55 p.m. in the 800 block of Southwest Harrison Street, close by the Kansas Statehouse, according to TPD.

TPD said thanks to Hafford’s tip, its officers found the car shortly after with the suspect and woman still inside near the 300 block of Southwest 10th Avenue, right in front of the Kansas Statehouse.

They arrested David S. Baker, 54, of Topeka on charges including kidnapping, aggravated burglary, theft and assault and booked him into the Shawnee County Department of Corrections. The woman was not hurt in the incident, and she did not know Baker, according to TPD.

“TPD would like to thank Hafford for immediately stepping into action to help a stranger in need.”

Topeka Police Department

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories