Sunday, March 19, 2000

Boy, 11, pleads in theft of car, kidnapping

Pair of youths didn't know girl was in vehicle

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A plan to steal a car got complicated when two juveniles discovered a 3-year-girl inside during a March 9 joy ride.

        Prosecutors said an 11-year-old boy who pleaded “true” — the equivalent of guilty — Friday to kidnapping and child endangering in Hamilton County Juvenile Court told his 14-year-old accomplice: “We've got a baby in here!”

        The 14-year-old boy reportedly replied: “Shut up and stop acting like a baby.”

        The 11-year-old boy will be sentenced March 31, and his alleged accomplice will appear March 24 before Judge Sylvia Hendon on charges of child endangering, kidnapping and grand theft in connection with the incident, prosecutors said Saturday.

        Donna Rozell, 54, of Westwood, who found the child and called police, was in court Friday and said she was told the 11-year-old boy had been asked to testify against the older boy.

        Mrs. Rozell was summoned as a possible witness.

        “The prosecutors said this could have been tragic,” she said Saturday. “The child was only 2 feet from the road.”

        Three-year-old Molly Meyer was in a car seat in a car outside her parents' Vienna Woods Drive apartment about 8:20 p.m. that Thursday when someone jumped in the car and drove away.

        Kelly Meyer, her mother, of the 3200 block of Vienna Woods Drive, had momentarily left the child in the car with the motor running, Cincinnati Police said. Mrs. Meyer said she left the child unattended while she carried a computer into the family apartment.

        The 11-year-old boy said in court that when they discovered the baby, they stopped the car and sat her down, still in her car seat, a few blocks away in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 2600 block of Montana Avenue.

        That's where Mrs. Rozell found her, unharmed, less than 30 minutes later.

        Police reports said the child was still strapped in her car seat. Mrs. Rozell said the restraint was not buckled and that the girl could have stood and walked into traffic.

        Police said the stolen car was found abandoned about a mile away in an apartment parking lot at the dead end of Yearling Drive.


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