Update: Man released, charges dropped after police ID wrong suspect »

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A man who reportedly stole a car with a 3-year-old child inside in Providence faced a judge Wednesday morning.

Osvaldo Vazquez, 50, is accused of taking the vehicle Tuesday night from the parking lot of a Broad Street business. The child’s mother told police she had left the car running while she ran quickly inside a liquor store.

Police got a call a short time later from a witness who had followed the car and saw Vazquez park in front of the Omni Hotel downtown.

The witness, Ricky Saunders, told 12 News he was walking out of the store when he saw Vazquez jump into the running car. He said he decided to get involved after realizing the car didn’t belong to Vazquez.

“It was a pretty lengthy chase,” Saunders recalled. “We jumped on [Route] 6, we jumped on [Route] 10 … I think he was probably doing about 60, 65, 70 mph or something.”

“I lunged at him, but he kind of got away from me,” he added.

Saunders said he didn’t chase Vazquez into the hotel after noticing there was a child in the car.

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Officers searched the hotel and the surrounding area for Vazquez but did not find him.

Police said an officer on patrol later saw Vazquez hop onto a RIPTA bus. That officer followed the bus to Charles Street, where Vazquez got off and started running.

Vazquez was arrested shortly after getting off the bus, police said, adding that he was the only person on the bus at the time.

The child was unharmed and has since been reunited with its mother, according to police.

The Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) confirmed an investigation has been opened into the incident.

Vazquez was later charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. He was ordered held on $15,000 surety bail Wednesday morning, but faced a judge again later in the day and was ordered held for probation violations.

Police said Vazquez was on probation for previous convictions, which include a first-degree robbery charge from 2010 and a larceny charge from 2019.

Vazquez’s attorney argued that surveillance footage will prove his client was inside the Providence Place mall until around 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, Vazquez’s family claims he was in Warwick when the car was stolen, adding that he called them around the same time.

In court, Vazquez said, “I wasn’t driving the car,” before he was taken back into custody.