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Police: Neighbor snatched 2-year-old from grandmother in Johnson City

Johnson City Press • Updated May 13, 2020 at 10:42 PM

Bond for a 42-year-old Johnson City man accused of taking a 2-year-old child from his neighbor as she played with the boy in her yard Tuesday was doubled at his arraignment on Wednesday.

Police were able to stop the man from leaving with the child.

Christopher Coffey, 930 Hopson St., was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping. He was originally held on a $50,000 bond, but a judge increased it to $100,000 and appointed the public defender’s office to represent the man. 

Police said they were called to 932 Hopson St., where they said Coffey was still holding the child. The boy’s grandmother told police Coffey walked into her yard, began playing with her grandson, suddenly picked up the child and refused to hand him over.

Coffey was trying to leave the area with the child when police arrived. Police were able to restrain Coffey while safely removing the child from his arms. The boy was unharmed, and he was returned to his grandmother.

Coffey also had been charged with a felony April 23. As they were responding to a call about a suspicious person on East Watauga Avenue, Johnson City police were told a man was trying to break into a vehicle. When police arrived, they found a man standing beside the vehicle that the 911 caller witnessed someone attempting to break into.

Coffey was charged with attempted auto burglary and public intoxication.

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Reported earlier:

A 42-year-old Johnson City man took a 2-year-old child from his neighbor as she played with the boy in her yard Tuesday, police said in a news release, resulting in the man’s arrest.

Police were able to stop the man from leaving with the child.

Christopher Coffey, 930 Hopson St., was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping.

Police said they were called to 932 Hopson St., where Coffey was still holding the child. The boy’s grandmother told police  Coffey walked into her yard, began playing with her grandson, suddenly picked up the child and refused to hand him over.

Coffey was trying to leave the area with the child when police arrived. Police were able to restrain Coffey while safely removing the child from his arms. The boy was unharmed, and he was returned to his grandmother.

Coffey was jailed in the Washington County Detention Center under $50,000 bond awaiting a Sessions Court appearance set for Wednesday.

Coffey also had been charged with a felony April 23. As they were responding to a call about a suspicious person on East Watauga Avenue, Johnson City police were told a man was trying to break into a vehicle. When police arrived, they found a man standing beside the vehicle that the 911 caller witnessed him attempting to break into.

Coffey was charged with attempted auto burglary and public intoxication.

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