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Amherst father charged with kidnapping, accused of fleeing supervised visit at county office with child

Posted at 11:37 AM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 11:37:33-05

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A 21-year-old Amherst man is accused of leaving a supervised visit at the Child Protection Offices in Cheektowaga with his child, hitting an employee with his vehicle as he fled.

Cheektowaga police officers were called to the Erie County Child Protection Offices on Union Road on Thursday for a reported kidnapping of a four-year-old child.

According to police, the child had been waiting with their foster parent for a supervised visitation appointment with their father, 21-year-old Shaland Souverain of Amherst.

Souverain, whose rights to custody of the child were removed by Erie County Family Court, is accused of entering the lobby, grabbing the child and fleeing.

A county employee chased after Souverain and attempted to stop him. Police say Souverain shoved the employee into a parked vehicle. When the employee continued to pursue Souverain, he is accused of hitting the employee with his vehicle as he drove away. The employee was treated at Erie County Medical Center for unknown injuries.

Cheektowaga police notified the Amherst Police Department of the situation. Officers there checked Souverain's residence, and a "lengthy negotiation" ensued. Souverain was taken into custody by Amherst police officers, and the child was returned to Child Protection Services unharmed.

Souverain was held overnight for arraignment on Friday in Cheektowaga Town Court. He is charged with five felonies, including kidnapping, custodial interference, unlawful imprisonment, assault and reckless endangerment. He is also charged with two misdemeanors, including endangering the welfare of a child and criminal contempt of court.