A woman holding her 4-month-old baby allegedly threw herself on the hood of her car to stop an ex-boyfriend from taking it, and stayed there for a wild 1 1/2-mile ride, police said.

The driver drove through a red light, swerved through traffic and jumped a curb with the woman and child still on the hood before police pulled the car over and arrested both adults. The baby was put into protective custody.

Police said neither the baby nor the 26-year-old mother were injured. The adults, including the 23-year-old former boyfriend, had not been charged Thursday morning.

The arrests came less than five hours after the mother had been released from jail on a different matter.

"It's very concerning behavior when children are used as leverage in domestic disputes," said Cmdr. Shari Gray, who oversees the police department's family violence unit. "It's just not acceptable for any parent to put a child in that situation and for the driver to continue driving knowing there is a baby on the hood."

Police spokesman Tom Walsh said the incident started outside the couple's apartment as the ex-boyfriend was about to leave in a car the mother told police was hers. Police received a 911 call from a witness to the incident at 5:36 p.m. Officers stopped the car shortly afterward.

Janet Bierman, who lives in the same complex, said she was surprised to see the mother and child jump onto the car. She called the woman a good mother and said the only explanation was that she was desperate.

"She really needs that car to get back and forth to school," Bierman said. "She's a very quiet, nice girl. She gets up, takes the kids to day care, goes to school, comes home and cooks dinner for her kids, and then goes to sleep."