Local News

Baby in Stolen Car Not Injured In Crash

Posted February 24, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— It's every parent's nightmare. A helpless child left alone for just seconds disappears.

In this case, the story has a happy ending. The 9-month-old girl and mother were reunited. But the potential for harm was great.

Nancy Chun was strapped into the family car, motor running. That's when police say Melvin Pettway, 23 jumped into the car and drove away.

"I don't think he knew the child was in the car," said Wilson police Capt. Wayne Smith.

Police say Pettway lost control of the car, crashed, then realized there was a back-seat passenger.

Witnesses say Pettway took the girl out of the car and placed her on the side of the road. When police arrived just a few minutes later, neighbors gathered to protect the girl.

Pettway has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, hit and run and driving while impaired. He made a first court appearance Monday, where he declined a court-appointed lawyer.