The carjacker forced his way into her Lexus, sideswiped a police cruiser in the stolen vehicle and led officers on a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph at times Wednesday night, police said.
So as the car rounded the outer loop of the Beltway in Bethesda, police said the mother made a harrowing decision to escape: She clutched her baby to her chest and dove out of the car.
“The front door opened and she rolled out,” said Elena Russo, a spokeswoman for the Maryland State Police. “The second door hit her and she continued to roll.”
The woman came to rest in the third lane of the outer loop just after the Cabin John Parkway exit. The baby, which she was still clutching in her arms, was unharmed, police said. The woman suffered a gash on her head, but was otherwise uninjured.
The alleged carjacker, 22-year-old Terron Alvin White, of Baltimore, was arrested soon after and charged with two counts of kidnapping, first- and second-degree assault and vehicle theft, according to court documents.
The dramatic ending capped a wild, 45-minute ordeal that began at a Citgo station in Baltimore shortly before 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, police said. White allegedly forced his way into the four-door Lexus GS 300 and drove off with the 24-year-old Baltimore mother and 20-month-old baby inside. On his way out of the filling station on Edmonson Avenue, White allegeldy hit another car, police said.
Around 10:30 p.m., the Lexus sideswiped a Maryland State Police cruiser that was parked on the shoulder of southbound Interstate 95 near the Riggs Road exit in Prince George’s County, police said. The cruiser was in a construction zone and had its emergency lights on.
The officer flipped on his siren and immediately began chasing the car, according to police. The Lexus, which had its headlights off, sped down I-95 at more than 100 mph and merged onto the Beltway headed toward Rockville, police said. The trooper radioed a description of the vehicle to the Rockville barracks, but lost track of it.
Another trooper spotted the vehicle around 10:45 p.m. near the Connecticut Avenue exit and attempted to pull it over, police said. White was driving about 45 mph at the time, according to police, and the passenger door of the Lexus appeared to be hanging open following the earlier collision with the police cruiser. A rear passenger door was also damaged.
White continued to drive erratically, changing lanes and speeding up to 60 mph and then slowing down to 10 mph, police said. Russo said there may have been a struggle going on inside the car.
Eventually, four cruisers caught up with the Lexus and began trailing it, Russo said. A video camera mounted on the dashboard of one of the police vehicle’s captured a portion of the chase. Police declined to release the footage.
“The car was weaving in and out of traffic,” said Russo, who had seen the video. “If you didn’t know better, you might think the driver was drunk. The victim’s hands were flailing outside the passenger-side window.”
As the vehicle slowed to 10 to 20 mph near the Cabin John Parkway exit, the mother jumped from the front passenger side door, while holding the baby, Russo said. The woman rolled about 10-feet.
Russo said the four police cruiers were close enough to the Lexus to prevent any oncoming traffic from hitting the woman.
White then pulled the vehicle over and was arrested, police said. The mother and baby were taken to a hospital, where they were treated and released.
White passed a field sobriety test and it did not appear that White knew the mother, who was not identified, Russo said.
White was scheduled to have an initial hearing in the Montgomery County District Court Thursday afternoon, Russo said. A bond hearing was tentatively scheduled for Friday. A Baltimore police spokesman said White will face additional charges there as well.
Russo said the mother was “very lucky” she wasn’t more seriously injured by her dive out of the car.
This item has been updated.
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