Police have arrested a man who they said threatened to stab a relative’s 9-month-old baby to steal gasoline from one gas station, then threatened to stab the child at another gas station before leading state police on nine-mile chase with the child, unsecured and crying, in the front seat.
It appears that the incident started in Wallingford and ended in Middlefield, where the suspect hit a state trooper’s cruiser.
Wallingford police said they received a 911 call at 11:54 p.m. from a clerk at the Gulf Express at 1195 North Colony Road in Wallingford who reported a man carrying a young child went into the store and put $8 on the counter, but demanded $40 worth of gas, police said.
When the clerk questioned the man, who was later identified as Richard Stevenson, 25, of Meriden, Stevenson pulled out a knife and held it toward the child, then pumped gas and left in a white vehicle, heading south toward Route 15, police said.
Two minutes later, at 11:56 p.m., Meriden police received a call to respond to the Shell Gas Station at 927 East Main Street.
The caller said a man who was driving a white Mercedes had just left the gas station after yelling that he needed a cell phone or he was going to stab a baby, then held up the baby and motioned as if he had stabbed it, police said. The caller said the man fled east on East Main Street toward Middletown.
As all of this was happening, information was broadcast to police with a registration plate for the car, as well as a description of the vehicle and the driver.
Moments later, Connecticut State Police reported that they chasing a white Mercedes heading west on Route 66 from Middletown and asked Meriden Police Department to set up stop sticks at the Meriden town line.
A news release from state police says they tried to stop Stevenson on Meriden Road in Middlefield at 12:50 a.m., but he refused to stop. State police used stop sticks, but Stevenson continued to flee until hitting a state trooper’s cruiser, police said.
Stop sticks were used, the vehicle was stopped at Interstate 691 and Stevenson was taken into custody.
The baby, who has been in the front seat, was crying and transported to MidState Medical Center and evaluated by doctors who determined he was not hurt.
Police said they also found a large knife in the car.
Meriden police charged Stevenson with first-degree kidnapping, criminal attempt at assault in the first degree, risk of injury to a minor, threatening in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, breach of peace in the second degree, engaging in a pursuit and reckless driving.
Meriden police then released him to the custody of Wallingford police, who said they identified Stevenson as their suspect from video surveillance footage, and charged him with robbery in the first degree, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment. He is being held on a $100,000 bond.