Man allegedly left kids in van while fleeing from police
Published 9:25 am Wednesday, December 3, 2014
An Elizabethton man faces multiple charges after police say he abandoned three small children while fleeing from officers responding to a shoplifting report.
Elizabethton police arrested Jeremy Cole Hall, 24, 1205 Thomas Blvd., and charged him with child neglect, resisting arrest, vandalism and shoplifting.
Shortly after 5:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to Shoe Sensation in the Elk Crossing Shopping Center on West Elk Avenue after an employee of the store called 911 to report a shoplifting.
EPD Cpl. Sarah Ellison was leaving a nearby gas station when the call came through, and saw a man matching the description of the suspect run behind the shopping center, she said in her report.
The 911 dispatcher reported that the suspect had abandoned his children in a white Kia Sedona minivan, Ellison said.
Ellison quickly scanned the area for the suspect, later identified as Hall, but when she did not immediately see him, she went to check on the children and told other officers where she had last seen Hall.
When she checked the minivan, Ellison found three children — ages 4, 3 and 1.
Shoe Sensation manager Sharon Clark told Ellison she saw Hall conceal a pair of shoes in a baby carrier and leave the store.
“When Clark confronted Hall, he fled on foot behind the business and left the children unattended inside the vehicle,” Ellison said.
Officers found Hall hiding inside a Dumpster behind the store. Hall refused to come out, Ellison said, and he struggled with officers. After Hall was taken into custody, police found a second pair of the store’s shoes on him, Ellison said.
Both pairs of shoes — a combined retail value of $140 — were damaged in the incident, Ellison said.
Police took Hall to the Carter County Detention Center, where he is being held on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court Dec. 23.