Florida

Florida man uses child as human shield to stop police from getting to him, deputies say

Police said Lawrence Kiehart fled with a child to a garage attic for four hours, trying to avoid arrest after he made 39 calls to a woman he is accused of harming and texted her numerous times.
Police said Lawrence Kiehart fled with a child to a garage attic for four hours, trying to avoid arrest after he made 39 calls to a woman he is accused of harming and texted her numerous times. Brevard County Sheriff's Office

A man accused of stalking a woman, in spite of a no-contact order, tried to get away from Brevard County deputies by hiding in an attic and using a child as a shield from police, authorities said.

About 7:30 p.m. Monday, deputies went to Titusville, in Brevard County, in response to a report that Lawrence Kiehart violated a no-contact order issued in connection with aggravated stalking charges, according to a sheriff’s office report. He was staying at a friend’s house.

Kiehart, 39, had been arrested on Aug. 2 on a domestic violence charge and had been released from jail Aug. 4, deputies said. Sometime after, Kiehart called and texted the woman, which violated his no-contact order.

On Monday, the woman told deputies Kiehart texted her numerous times and had called her 39 times since Aug. 4, deputies said.

When deputies arrived at Kiehart’s friend’s home Monday night, Kiehart was talking to his friend outside. When Kiehart saw deputies, he ran inside and locked the door, they said.

A child under the age of 13 was inside the home when Kiehart was trying to get away from the deputies, according to their report. He grabbed the child and ran into an unfinished garage attic, deputies said.

When deputies found him, they said, Kiehart refused to leave the attic or let the child go. He was using the child “as a shield from law enforcement to prevent the arrest,” deputies said.

Kiehart kept the child in the attic for about four hours. The conditions inside were not safe, deputies said. It was excessively hot, nails protruded from the floor and walls and fiberglass was coming from the ceiling.

During the standoff, Kiehart used a phone to call the woman he was accused of stalking and asked her to drop the charges so he could leave the attic. She did not drop them, deputies said.

Deputies forced him out of the attic, but he still refused to let the child go. He resisted arrest, but eventually he was put into a patrol car, deputies said.

Kiehart is facing charges of aggravated stalking, child abuse, kidnapping, resisting an officer, tampering in a felony proceeding and two counts of violating conditional release related to domestic violence.

He remains in a Brevard County jail in lieu of a $226,000 bond.

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.
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