From Fredricksburg, VA's The Free Lance-Star:
Two tow-truck drivers were charged with felonies yesterday after they towed away a vehicle without realizing there was a small child inside, police said.
The Patriot Towing employees didn’t realize their early afternoon mistake until getting back to the business with the vehicle, a Mazda Protege, sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said.
The employees immediately called the Sheriff’s Office and reported what happened. That call came four minutes after the 2-year-old girl’s mother called to report a stolen car and missing child.
According to police, the towing employees were on the lookout for improperly parked vehicles in the Thomas Jefferson Place complex when the baby’s mother double parked in front of her mother’s car in the 1200 block of Thomas Jefferson Place.
The mother told police that she ran into the residence about 12:45 p.m. to talk to some people and left the car running and unlocked. The child was in a car seat in the back.
The woman said she came out about five minutes later and the car was gone. She immediately called 911.
Four minutes later, the mystery was solved. The employees apparently had not looked inside the car before hooking it up.
The business is about six miles from where the car was towed, police said.
Jason Bryant, 25, of Spotsylvania and Derek Miller, 21, of Stafford were both charged with felony child endangerment.
Bryant, the driver, was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under a $1,000 bond. Miller was released on an unsecured bond.
The child, who was unharmed, was turned over to her mother. Kennedy said he isn’t sure what happened to the car.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404