Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN) – Witnesses described the terrifying moment to dispatch as a man carjacked and took off with a 10-month-old baby in the backseat.
In the 911 calls obtained by News 2, dispatch is heard asking, “911, what is the address of your emergency?” One caller says, “Yes, I witnessed a car wreck, and the guy just jumped out of the car and stole a pedestrian’s car and there’s a baby in the backseat.”
On Wednesday, the woman who was taking care of the 10-month old baby described the situation as chaotic, having no idea what was in store for her that Tuesday morning.
“I can’t believe this; I can’t get over it,” said Janet Gayle, as she looked at her destroyed car. The terrifying moment happened when according to Metro Police, 28-year-old Cody Eakes of Little Rock, Arkansas, was driving on Murfreesboro Pike when he crashed into another car.
Gayle said she had just dropped off the 10-month old’s mother at work and was on her way to drop the child off at the babysitter’s when she saw the accident happen. She remembered watching the driver plead for help.
“She was like ‘somebody help me, help me, I need help,'” remembered Gayle. “‘Get my key.’ I grabbed my phone and I said ‘let me walk towards the lady.’ By the time I did all that, opened the truck door everything, hell broke loose.”
That’s when Gayle said Eakes made his move. Pushing her, Eakes took off in her SUV.
“He grabbed my key. He’s trying to get in the truck and I’m trying to pull him, and I’m holding him because I know that baby is in there,” said Gayle.
It was that moment that terrified Gayle the most. Although the 10-month old baby isn’t hers, she considers him family and couldn’t believe someone would take off with him in the backseat.
“It was so surreal; it didn’t even seem like it was real,” said Gayle. “There’s a baby in there; there’s a baby.”
Moments later, the car was found abandoned and destroyed. One of the front wheels was missing and there was visible damage to the headlight. Scratches and marks show the impact.
“Can you imagine? Just imagine if it had flipped with that baby in it,” Gayle questioned, as she thought about what could have happened.
Thankfully, the baby was unharmed and reunited with his father, but the frightening scene still follows Gayle.
“I hardly slept last night; this thing kept playing over and over in my head. I’m in my car this morning, and I’m locking every…I’m locking my car,” said Gayle.
After abandoning the SUV, Eakes reportedly fled into a nearby wooded area where he was eventually captured and arrested without incident, according to Metro police.