Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Public safety

Deputies arrest Tampa man suspected in kidnapping of 7-week-old baby

TAMPA — Deputies arrested a man late Saturday they say kidnapped a 7-week-old baby, according to jail records.

Reginald Levison, 27, had been at large after safely giving the infant to his sister earlier in the day, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

It all started about 1 p.m. Saturday when Levison assaulted the mother of his child, 26-year-old Teah Coward, the Sheriff's Office said. He choked her, hit her and wouldn't let her leave her apartment near University Mall, taking two phones from her when she tried to call 911.

Then Levison took their son, 7-week-old Jaelin Levison, and left in Coward's car. He had threatened to harm the child or law enforcement officers if they tried to arrest him, the Sheriff's Office said, saying he wouldn't go back to prison.

Deputies found Levison about 10:15 p.m. Saturday at an apartment building at 1910 W Sligh Ave., according to arrest affidavits. Levison was arrested on several warrants: domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, theft of a motor vehicle, interference of custody and tampering with a witness.

A search during the arrest also revealed two bags of marijuana in a cargo pocket of Levison's shorts, an arrest affidavit stated. Levison faces an additional charge of possession of marijuana weighing more than 20 grams.

Levison remained Sunday in Hillsborough County jail without bail. Jail records show he previously has been arrested several times in Hillsborough County.

In 2004, a judge sentenced Levison to 60 months in state prison on charges including aggravated fleeing to elude and battery on a law enforcement officer.

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