COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - A Georgia State Trooper is a hero to a couple of young children who were the subject of an Amber Alert Wednesday night.
Trooper First Class Brad Turner told FOX 5 News he was praying for a safe outcome.
“As I was trailing behind them, I did say a prayer and I said ‘Lord, please let this man give up,’” said Trooper Turner.
Turner said he knew caution was in order when the Wednesday night Amber Alert was issued for two abducted children, a 10-month-old baby boy and his sister, a 2-year-old girl who police said was taken from their home near Albany.
A BOLO was issued for their 32-year-old mother, Mallory Johnson, and her 52-year-old boyfriend with the same last name, Steven Johnson.
Trooper Turner said the two were supposed to surrender the children back to officials with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. A DFACS spokesperson said they were evaluating the situation for the children when Stephen Johnson made threatening remarks.
“He had actually threatened to harm the children; it was a big red flag,” said Trooper Turner.
Turner said he positioned his squad car on northbound Interstate 85 in Troup County, and then waited for the truck the Johnson’s and children were in drove past.
“They had kind of small seat in the back and a bell went off that said ‘I bet that’s them,’” said Trooper Turner.
When he confirmed it was the truck, Trooper Turner said he started following their vehicle from a safe distance. About 25 miles later, other troopers joined Turner as Coweta County deputies and Grantville police waited near Exit 41. Trooper Turner said the plan was to force the truck into the retainer wall there.
“I waited and I saw them sitting over there and as soon as I passed that, I cut my blue lights on and stopped him,” said Trooper Turner.
Trooper Turner explained to FOX 5 News in an interview on Friday how he had cocked his shotgun to let Stephen Johnson know his flight from the law was definitely over.
Turner, who is also a father, said he was relieved the children were safe and the two adults were in custody.
“The best thing that happened was him pulling over and not using the kids as a hostage or anything like that because we were prepared to do what we need to do to get those kids back,” said Trooper Turner.
Turner said when he arrested him, Stephen Johnson told him all and his girlfriend wanted to do was spend Christmas with the children. Now, the children are back in DFACS custody while Stephen and Mallory Johnson are at the Coweta County Jail facing two counts of kidnapping.