Cleveland officer’s extraordinary actions during Amber Alert help family

CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I-Team now has exclusive video showing how a local police officer stepped up to help a mother and three kidnapped children.

The children were taken from their Athens, Ohio, home last week by their father, who has a history of violence. An Amber Alert was issued and a few hours later the children were found inside an apartment on Cleveland’s east side.

The Cleveland police body camera video shows Cleveland Police Sgt. Steve Beckner, other officers, and federal agents helping the three scared children.

“I was probably the last one inside the apartment and I saw two U.S. Marshals holding the babies and our detective holding the real little one,” Sgt. Beckner told FOX 8 Tuesday. “The baby was about 6 months old. He was just crying and my dad instincts jumped in at the time.”

Beckner quickly looked for baby formula so he could feed the infant.

“Two scoops,” Beckner can be heard saying on the body camera video. “Going to give him a bottle here, hold on.”

The children were then taken to EMS to be checked out and that’s when Beckner wanted to make sure the mother knew the three were safe.

“I thought as a parent the first thing I would want to know is that my kids are safe,” Beckner said. “And hearing it is one thing, but I would want to see them. So I got her number from the U.S. Marshals and called her. I asked if she had FaceTime, and then I called so they could see each other.”

The next day the mother reached out to Beckner saying she and the children were in Cleveland with no way back to Athens. He was off. So he and another officer volunteered to drive her and the three children back home.

Athens Police Officer Andrew Reece says he and his fellow officers were touched by the kindness of the two Cleveland officers.

“It’s a good 3 ½ hour drive each way,” Reece said. “They were off-duty. They weren’t getting paid to do this. It took my breath away.”

Sgt. Beckner, however, insists he did nothing out of the ordinary.

“It’s an Amber Alert,” Beckner said. “You want to help any way you can.”