A man accused of kidnapping a 2-year-old girl in West Virginia, stealing two vehicles and leading police on a wild chase through crowded South Hills roads Friday afternoon is now jailed in Allegheny County.
Timothy Adam White, 23, was arraigned early Saturday morning on counts of kidnapping and grand larceny. Bond was set for $1 million for each.
The saga began at 11:45 a.m. Friday, according to a state police criminal complaint, when Mr. White abducted 2-year-old Starr Parks of Reedsville, W.Va. Mr. White had been staying with Starr's parents, John and Stephanie Parks, who live above a Citgo station in Reedsville, about 15 miles southeast of Morgantown. His motive for taking Starr is unknown.
Mr. White took off with Starr in a stolen Toyota Corolla, headed toward Pennsylvania. According to police, Mr. White then ditched that vehicle, got a ride from an unknown person, and ended up at a GetGo station on Route 40 in Richeyville.
James Weid, of Richeyville, told police that he saw Mr. White and the little girl walking away from the gas station and asked them if they needed help.
"Something didn't seem right," Mr. Weid told KDKA-TV. "So, I asked them to get in my van. Well, not really ask him to get in; he just opened the door and got in. Told him it's too cold out for a kid."
Mr. White said that he wanted to go to a town or a city. Mr. Weid told police that Mr. White appeared to be "out of it" and possibly on drugs. Mr. Weid then became scared that Mr. White had committed a crime, and drove to his house in Richeyville.
At Mr. Weid's home, Mr. White got out of the car to smoke a cigarette, leaving Starr in the car. At that point, he jumped into a running Atlantic Cable Broadband van that was parked and running at a neighbor's house.
Mr. White stole that van, fleeing the area and leaving Starr with Mr. Weid, according to the criminal complaint.
By about 2:45 p.m., Pennsylvania State Police had "pinged" Mr. Weid's cell phone to Mr. Weid's address. Mr. Weid, who still had Starr with him, related the tale to police, with his wife also calling Washington County 911.
Starr was placed first in CYS custody and then returned to her mother.
Police issued a bulletin to look out for the Atlantic Cable Broadband van, which was spotted by a Pennsylvania State Police corporal about an hour later traveling north near the Finleyville exit on Toll Road 43.
The officer pursued the vehicle and got close enough to confirm it was the stolen van, at which point Mr. White sped up and tried to escape. He exited onto Route 51, doing numerous U-turns, pushing several cars off the road and driving through red lights -- at times through heavy traffic, police said.
He drove over a median near the Century III Mall, by which point officers from several local police departments were trying to stop him. Near the Lebanon Church Road exit, he tried to force a marked Pleasant Hills police car off the road, police said.
At Route 51 and Irwin Drive in Baldwin Borough, Mr. White drove into a parking lot and was boxed in by police. According to the state police, Mr. White got into a fighting stance when he got out of the stolen van, ignored requests to comply and resisted arrest. Police jumped on him and pinned him to the ground in order to arrest him.
In addition to the West Virginia charges of kidnapping and vehicle theft, Mr. White is also charged in Pennsylvania with aggravated assault on five different police officers, as well as recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and fleeing a police officer.
Anyone with information, or who may have had contact with Mr. White, is asked to call state police in Pittsburgh at 412-787-2000.