Police: Man punches 5-year-old boy while stealing truck

Freddie Wrather is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and robbery. (Photo courtesy: Austin Police Department)

A man is in jail after punching a child while stealing a truck on Friday, according to court documents.

The arrests affidavit states that a woman went into the Domino’s Pizza at 5811 Berkman Drive to get food but left her Chevrolet Tahoe running with her two children inside.

While inside the business, the victim stated she witnessed her vehicle pulling out of the parking space. She ran outside and saw a black male backing up and began hitting the hood of the truck and yelling that her children were in the vehicle.

The suspect continued to back up and the victim saw her children were in the parking lot and started running toward her. The 5-year-old child stated that the suspect told him to get out but he refused. The suspect then allegedly punched the child in the ribcage. The child exited the vehicle after being struck.

After striking a tree and a vehicle while exiting the parking lot, the police tracked the vehicle to the Super 8 Motel on East 51st Street and arrested.

The suspect, identified as Freddie Wrather, 40, stated to police that he is homeless and was looking for a place to keep warm and sleep the night. He admitted taking the truck but denied striking the child.

Wrather is being held at Travis County Jail and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and robbery, and a $90,000 bond.

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