Boy, 3, is safe after abduction in North Bethesda

October 17, 2013

A 27-year-old Montgomery County man crashed a car, ran into a stranger’s apartment and abducted a three-year-old boy on Thursday before police quickly caught him in a nearby stairwell, authorities said.

The child was not injured and was reunited with his family. The suspect, Shervin Hessamfar, was charged with kidnapping a child under 16 and two counts of burglary, police said.

For officers and residents in the area -- the 5200 block of Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda, about one mile south of White Flint Mall – the incidents kept escalating over a chaotic 45-minute stretch on Thursday morning. First, the wreck.

About 10:41 a.m, police were called for the report of a single-vehicle collision at the corner of Tuckerman Lane and Rockville Pike. They arrived to find the vehicle, but not the driver.

Police think that Hessamfar made his way to a nearby apartment building, where he broke the window of a first-floor unit. A woman who was in that apartment with a young child picked up the child and ran away, screaming for help. People heard her and told the officers who’d responded to the wreck. They moved in, as more officers were called to the scene.

“We had it locked down pretty quickly,” said Capt. James Daly, a Montgomery County police spokesman.

Hessamfar was still in the building. At some point, police say, a fire alarm was activated, which caused a different tenant — on the third floor — to come out and investigate. At that point, Hessamfar allegedly went into her apartment, grabbed the boy, and left.

“She saw him run out with the child,” Daly said.

Hessamfar made his way to a stairway in a nearby parking garage. Officers quickly closed in on him, rescued the boy, and took Hessamfar into custody without any additional incident. He too lives in the apartment complex, but police do not believe he knew either woman.

“We don’t know why he did any of this,” Daly said.

This article initially said the incident occurred in Rockville. Police said the incident occurred in North Bethesda.

Post staff writer Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County, Md.
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