Authorities in Hyattsville arrested a 29-year-old man who Metro Transit Police say abducted his 15-month-old daughter at a Metro station.
Dan Stessel, a Metro spokesman, said Prince George’s County Police arrested Darrel Keith Parker near a store in Hyattsville on Wednesday morning. He is charged with parental abduction.
Authorities had been searching for Parker since 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, when Metro Transit Police said he took his daughter from her mother at the Southern Avenue station in Hillcrest Heights.
The mother told police that earlier in the day, she got an order from a D.C. court granting her temporary custody of the child. When she met Parker at the station that evening, she advised him of the order and that is when he left the station with the child, Stessel said. Metro police verified the court order and got an arrest warrant.
An assistant manager of a wholesale variety store on Landover Road in Hyattsville said she noticed Parker about 10 a.m. Wednesday. Harolette Jackson, 39, said Parker asked to use the store’s bathroom and told her he was homeless. He said he child’s mother left the 15-month-old girl with him and that he needed diapers.
Jackson said Parker purchased a package of diapers, and minutes after he left the store, she saw a news report saying police were looking for him. After calling her husband, she said she called 911.
An employee found Parker a few stores away and held him there until officers arrived, Jackson said. At one point, while chatting with police, Parker — who held the child on his hip — tried to run away, she said.
Stessel said Parker was arrested and the 15-month-old was with authorities. Parker will be handed over to Metro Transit Police custody, Stessel said.
Jackson was not surprised by the arrest. The manager, who also is a Prince George’s County teacher, said she knew right away — the moment Parker walked into her store — that something was off. “To be honest, he looked real scared, and there was just something about him that was telling me to call,” she said. “When he asked to go to the bathroom, he didn’t look right — he looked shaky almost.”
Metro Transit Police sent out an alert via Twitter Tuesday night after authorities said Parker took his child at the Southern Avenue station.