A 2-year-old boy from Houston County is safe and his father is in custody following a Tennessee statewide Amber Alert on Wednesday.
Authorities canceled the Amber Alert after an observant driver spotted the boy, his father and their vehicle as they sped down Interstate 24 toward the state border.
"A citizen in a car had seen the billboard that you see on the interstate," said Marion County Sheriff Ronnie 'Bo' Burnett.
Austin Whitehead, 23, was able to cover about 150 miles from his home in Erin, TN, to Marion County near Chattanooga before being spotted.
When the driver saw the vehicle described in the Amber Alert, he first called his wife to have her double-check the license plate number online then called the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
"He actually followed it from the other side of Monteagle into Marion County, and so he actually stayed with it until we made the stop," Burnett said.
A pair of truck drivers then attempted to slow the driver until the Marion County Sheriff's Department, South Pittsburg Police, Kimball Police and THP arrived to take the father into custody, according to THP.
Officials said Whitehead surrendered without incident.
"You never know what could happen in a situation like this. It could have turned violent. It could have turned deadly," Burnett said.
Whitehead has a criminal history in Clarksville, including an aggravated domestic assault charge, but at this point officials have not said why he ran.
Now, he faces aggravated assault charges and possibly kidnapping.
Copyright WSMV 2013 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Missing 2-year-old found safe after Amber AlertMore>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:04 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:04:10 GMT
Deputies with the Sumner Co. Sheriff's office have shut down Highway 109 near Portland after a collision between a semi-truck and another vehicle. The wreck happened just after 8 a.m. Officials tellMore >>
Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford said that Stephanie Law, 43, lost control of her silver Chevy Impala as she traveled north on Highway 109.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 10:45 AM EDT2013-05-25 14:45:56 GMT
A driver might face charges after a violent wreck on I-65 Friday night. A car ran into a bridge pillar at the Rosa Parks Boulevard exit around 11:30 p.m., according to police. A woman was rushed to theMore >>
Metro police arrested a driver after a violent wreck on I-65 Friday night.More >>
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust."More >>
The trucker was hauling drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water behind him....More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:48 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:48:47 GMT
One person was killed in a car wreck on I-24 this morning in Rutherford County. The wreck occurred near mile marker 86 in the eastbound lanes, which is partially blocked according to the Tennessee DepartmentMore >>
One person was killed in a car wreck on I-24 this morning in Rutherford County.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:48 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:48:33 GMT
Metro police are investigating a theft and assault at a south Nashville smoke shop. Investigators say two men showed up at the Smoke Token Smoke Shop on Harding Place to complain about a glass pipe theyMore >>
Metro police are investigating a theft and assault at a south Nashville smoke shop.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:07 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:07:39 GMT
A man accused of striking and killing two pedestrians while driving drunk near Music Row in December 2011 has pleaded guilty to reduced charges. The plea has the parents of one of the victims saying theMore >>
A man accused of striking and killing two pedestrians while driving drunk near Music Row in December 2011 has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:39 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:39:20 GMT
David Michael Matson
A National Weather Service employee who police said beat a puppy to death and killed another five or six dogs pleaded not guilty Friday to aggravated animal cruelty.Police said last November that DavidMore >>
A man who police said beat a puppy to death and killed another five or six animals pleaded not guilty Friday to aggravated animal cruelty.More >>