PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - Pasco County deputies believe they stopped a kidnapping from turning into a potential hostage situation after a Port Richey woman took her next door neighbor's toddler and refused to give him back.
Detectives said the family living next to Ann Orr on Leeds Road recently moved into their home and had previously let Orr babysit for their for 18-month-old boy.
On Monday, however, the family was returning from a walk when, according to deputies, Orr picked up the child and took him into her own home.
"Her explanation was she was going to take the child and give it a bath and she turned and walked into the house while the mother was screaming for her to give her child back," said Sgt. William Lindsey, with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. "When she was asking for the child back, the suspect told her, 'go ahead and call the police, I'm not giving you your kid back.'"
According to the arrest report, Orr told investigators she thought the child's mother was unfit.
Deputies who arrived at the scene, however, realized Orr was acting "irrationally."
"Her mental state was very irrational," Lindsey said. "She was making random statements that didn't make sense to the deputies. She was making allegations against random people. She was speaking to her dog, saying that she was communicating with her small dog."
While Orr stood on her barred and locked porch holding the child, two deputies spent 15 minutes trying to convince her to hand over the boy.
Lindsey said they were concerned if Orr locked herself in her house with the little boy, this would become a hostage situation.
"Both of them were very much in fear for that child's life," Lindsey told FOX 13. "The deputies had to be very, very careful with what they said and they had to use all of their training and experience to de-escalate her because their biggest fear was that she was already behind a locked door, that she would return into the house with the child and they would be helpless because, if they did anything, she could have easily harmed that child."
Orr eventually gave in and gave the child over to deputies.
"That's really scary, especially when you see how many children get abducted nowadays," said Jessica Braddam, who lives across the street from the two neighbors involved. "You kind of go, 'wow.' For as quiet as this neighborhood normally is, you would never have thought that someone was that close to a breaking point."
Investigators said Orr didn't go quietly, attempting to fight deputies off of her as they tried to put her in handcuffs.
FOX 13 attempted to talk with the family of the child but they declined to comment.