North Miami - NMB

Police arrest North Miami father who reported abduction

Jean Bernard Etienne
Jean Bernard Etienne

The father and a suspect wanted in connection to a reported abduction of the father’s three children outside a North Miami bank on Friday morning were arrested Friday evening.

At about 10 a.m. Friday, Terence Hill drove Jean Bernard Etienne, Etienne’s three children, and a friend to a Wells Fargo branch at 12700 Biscayne Blvd., according to an arrest report, with the intention of withdrawing $3,500 from Etienne’s bank account. The money was reportedly put into Etienne’s account the day before with a pair of fraudulent checks.

When they arrived at the bank, Hill, 20, stayed in the 1997 Toyota Camry with Etienne’s children — ages 5 months, 2 and 3 — while Etienne, 32, and the other man entered the bank, according to the report.

While the bank teller was completing the verification process, the unidentified man left Etienne at the bank and rejoined Hill in the car as the two drove away with the three children, according to the report.

Meanwhile, Etienne reported his car stolen and children kidnapped to the North Miami Police Department. The false statement delayed police from finding his children, according to the arrest report.

After driving around for a couple of hours with the children, Hill was contacted by the police department, at which time he turned himself in and agreed to meet with the children’s mother.

Hill told police he only left with the children because his friend told him to, according to the report. He also denied knowing Etienne and that they came to the bank with the intention of withdrawing money. Hill was arrested for false imprisonment and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $5,000 bond.

Etienne was arrested on charges of false report of a crime to law enforcement and child neglect with no great bodily harm. He was also taken to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. He remains in jail on a $6,000 bond.

The other man who entered the bank with Etienne has not yet been identified, but is a person of interest, North Miami Police spokeswoman Natalie Buissereth wrote in an email.

This is at least the second time in 10 days that someone in Miami-Dade County was arrested in connection to falsifying a report to police officers.

On June 30, Miami police arrested strip club worker Karla Vasquez and charged her with the false report of a commission of a crime after she “deliberately caused her husband to call the police and report a kidnapping” while she went bar hopping with another man.