Man arrested after taking child

A Jefferson City man was arrested Saturday after getting into a pursuit with police, ending with the safe recovery of a child taken after a domestic violence incident.

Leslie Austin, 33, is facing second-degree domestic assault, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and assault on a law enforcement officer.

Police reports show the incident began just before 11 a.m. when officers were called to the 1100 block of East Atchison Street regarding an assault.

The caller, a 29-year old female, stated that her boyfriend, Austin, had assaulted her, then drove away with their daughter, age 6.

Officers began to develop leads as to possible destinations or locations of Austin, who eventually called the victim and told her that she would not see her daughter again and he threatened any law enforcement intervention.

Eventually the vehicle Austin was driving was located in a commuter parking lot near Taos, and law enforcement officers began to follow him.

A pursuit involving Jefferson City police and Cole County Sheriff’s Department deputies went back into the Jefferson City limits, eventually ending in the Salvation Army lot on Jefferson Street.

When Austin got out of his vehicle, he charged at officers, yelling at them to shoot him.

Austin was struck with a TASER as he charged officers, and he was taken into custody without harm to the officers.

The 6-year-old girl was unharmed in the vehicle and subsequently taken by police into protective custody.

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