A Virginia driver got pulled over balancing his 2-year-old son on his lap on Monday afternoon — and his treatment of the boy only got worse, according to Strasbourg police.
A police officer spotted Kyle Sunday, the 28-year-old driver, in a vehicle with the toddler around 5 p.m., police said. When the officer tried to stop him, though, Sunday got out of the car and started to flee with the child on foot, according to police.
The officer who initiated the stop chased after Sunday, and other officers joined in, too.
With police on his tail, Sunday cooked up a distraction: He tossed the 2-year-old boy off an embankment and into a creek, according to police. Authorities said it was a 13-foot drop, WDVM reports.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Sunday had a suspended driver’s license and was wanted on outstanding arrest warrants when he fled, police later learned.
Sunday’s diversion had its desired effect. The officer who witnessed Sunday throw the child off the embankment gave up the chase to save the injured child from the creek, according to police.
The boy had several cuts and scrapes, which paramedics treated.
Sunday escaped — but only for the moment, police said.
Meanwhile, police learned that the 2-year-old child’s mother, Kristi Ann Letima, 27, had reported the vehicle Sunday was driving stolen. She also said her son had been taken with the vehicle, according to police.
The boy was reunited with Letima after the officer rescued him from the creek. But police eventually figured out that Letima wasn’t telling the truth about the situation, WSET reports. Police discovered that Letima and Sunday had been in a relationship, and that Sunday was the father of the child he had thrown into the creek, police said.
The child was handed over to another family member, and Letima was charged with making a false report, Northern Virginia Daily reports.
Officers were able to track Sunday as he made his way to a residence to hide, according to police.
“We had numerous calls from the community; citizens, giving us updated locations on Mr. Sunday as he was fleeing from us and which helped us get in a good direction of travel in time to set up a perimeter around that location,” Strasburg police Chief Wayne Sager said, according to Northern Virginia Daily.
Police went to the home and figured out that Sunday was, in fact, inside. After trying repeatedly to get him to come out, officers entered the home around 9:30 p.m. and discovered Sunday hiding in the attic, according to police.
Sunday was arrested on several felony charges, including child abuse and neglect, attempting to maliciously wound a child and eluding while in a motor vehicle, police said. He also faces reckless driving, seat belt, child restraint and other charges, in addition to outstanding warrants in Maryland and a probation violation. In 2015, Sunday was charged with sending text messages to a woman in which he threatened her bodily harm, Bristow Beat reports.
Sunday had to be treated for breathing issues after cops found him, police said — probably because he had been hiding in the attic insulation, Northern Virginia Daily reports.
Letima faces charges as well, including false report to law enforcement, obstruction of justice and child neglect and endangerment, police said.