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6 charges filed in case of Minneapolis 4-year-old snatched from backyard

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A Minneapolis man faces charges including kidnapping and assault after a 4-year-old boy was plucked from his own backyard this week and taken on an unwanted ride.

According to the criminal complaint filed Thursday, Xavier Fritz-Smead is a longtime friend of the family who called Tuesday and said he was coming over to "patch things up" after an altercation with the boy's mother a couple of days earlier.

Instead of entering the house when he arrived, Fritz-Smead grabbed the boy who was playing in the yard and shouted the name of the mother, who saw her crying son tossed into a Toyota Camry that sped off, the complaint says.

The Camry was soon on Interstate 494, with the driver using the shoulder to pass rush-hour traffic.

That was noticed by a Minnetonka police officer in an unmarked car and by other motorists, one of whom spoke to KARE 11.

Fritz-Smead then led officers on a chase, which ended in Plymouth when he drove the Camry into a ditch. According to the criminal complaint, he fought with the arresting officers – hitting, kicking, and spitting on them until he was sedated by paramedics.

The boy told investigators a welt over his eye resulted from Fritz-Smead hitting him with something, the complaint says.

The six criminal charges against Fritz-Smead, 24, also include fleeing an officer. WCCO says convictions on all six counts could bring up to 40 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

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