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    Abuse suspect arrested in Tennessee

    The man, who was already on parole, has been charged with abusing his three children. He was traced to Tennessee after he phoned his parents.

    By LEON M. TUCKER

    © St. Petersburg Times, published September 29, 2000


    The Indian Rocks Beach man who disappeared with his three children, whom police say he abused, was arrested in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday.

    Austin W. Green had the children and four unloaded rifles with him when he was arrested outside a motel about 4:20 p.m., said Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron.

    "He was taken into custody as he was walking toward his room without incident," Aaron said. "His two daughters were accompanying him at the time. His son was apparently in the room.

    "All three children are fine."

    Pinellas County sheriff's spokesman Cal Dennie said authorities were tipped to his location when Green, 31, made a phone call to his mother, who lives in Pinellas County.

    Green's mother, whom Dennie would not identify, alerted sheriff's investigators about the call. They were able to trace Green's location to a motel in Nashville and notify Nashville authorities, who arrested Green, Dennie said.

    "Green made a second call from a pay phone at approximately 4:25 p.m. which was not from the motel but near the motel," Dennie said. "The Nashville Police Department with our information expedited to Green's location, placing him under arrest."

    Green was charged on an arrest warrant with one count of aggravated child abuse and two counts of child abuse, authorities said.

    Green, who has legal custody of Tyler, 8, Tynie, 9, and Krystina, 11, had been living in apartment 12 of the Uncle Milt's Courtyard Cottage motel at 701 Gulf Blvd. for a little more than a week.

    Dennie said Green left his children at his parents' house on Saturday evening.

    Green's parents -- the children's grandparents -- noticed the children were bruised, authorities said. They videotaped the injuries and called the Sheriff's Office, authorities said.

    Sheriff's deputies began looking for Green that night. The next day Green came back to his parents' house and took the children, along with his stepfather's black GMC pickup, Dennie said.

    Before he drove away, Dennie said, Green told his mother, "I'm not going back to prison," and he said that it will not be his fault if the children see him get shot by police.

    Green is on parole for a 1992 conviction for shooting a man in the chest in Georgia over $40, sheriff's reports say. Pinellas sheriff's Sgt. Greg Tita said Green may also be charged with a probation violation in connection with the child abuse charges.

    Before his arrest, Dennie said, Green was last reported seen in Dunedin where police suspect hestole a Ford Explorer on Sunday. Green drove the sport utility vehicle north to Nashville where he was found, Dennie said.

    "All three children are fine and are in protective custody with the Tennessee Department of Children Services," Aaron said.

    Dennie said the agency will coordinate with the Pinellas Sheriff's Office to place the children until they are returned to Pinellas County.

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