Their daughter safely back, Glen Burnie couple rejoices Suspect also sought in 2 other incidents

December 11, 1990|By Kris Antonelli

A 34-year-old Glen Burnie man charged with an attempted kidnapping in September is also a suspect in the abduction of a 6-year-old on Sunday and an attempted abduction of another child the same day.

Dale LeRoy Knight, who lives alone in an apartment in the 100 block of South Meadow Drive, was charged yesterday in the Sept. 30 attempt to kidnap Jaime Backes, 12, of Glen Burnie.

Mr. Knight, who was still at large last night, also is wanted for questioning in the abduction Sunday of Lindsay Michelle Saxon, 6, also of Glen Burnie, from a playground behind Point Pleasant Elementary School and in an attempt to snatch a 6-year-old girl from a playground on Crainmont Drive earlier in the day.

The children in all three incidents have given police similar descriptions of the kidnapper, his car and his methods.

In the Sept. 30, incident, Jaime Backes, a seventh-grader at Old Mill Junior High School, said she was sitting at a table in the playground off Crainmont Drive when she noticed a man staring at her and smiling.

"I moved and he followed me," she said. He asked if she knew a girl named "Donna" with blond hair and brown eyes. Jaime said she didn't.

"He then said, 'You're coming with me,' and tried to grab me, but I ran away," she said. "He took one step forward and it looked like he was going to follow me, but he didn't. I ran home and told my stepfather."

Police investigated the incident but failed to turn up any strong leads.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Jaime Backes' mother, Linda Wetzel, said she was getting out of her car near the same playground when a little girl ran up to her screaming, "Help me, help me. A man has my cousin."

"I turned around and saw the green car, and I knew it was the same man who tried to grab my daughter," Ms. Wetzel said.

She ran to the playground and found that the man had put the 6-year-old girl down and was driving away.

"I started kicking him, and then I screamed and bit him," said the 6-year-old, whose mother asked that her name not be used. "Then he put me down."

According to the police report, the 6-year-old had been playing with several friends when a man in a faded green car drove up and asked if they had seen Santa Claus. One of the children told him that they had.

The man gestured to the kids as if trying to hug them and asked if Santa held his arms out in a similar fashion. He then scooped up the 6-year-old and tried to run off with her.

Later Sunday, at 2:45 p.m., a green car showed up at the Point Pleasant Elementary playground where Lindsay Saxon was making a sand castle with her 9-year-old sister, Danielle, and a 9-year-old friend.

The driver, described as a white man with dark brown hair and a mustache, approached the girls, tried to strike up a conversation and then grabbed Lindsay.

He drove her to an isolated, wooded area west of the Baltimore-Washington International Airport where the car got stuck in the mud, police said. But Lindsay Saxon escaped unharmed less than three hours later when he allowed her to go to a house on Furnace Avenue in Howard County to use the bathroom.

Police found a faded green 1979 Dodge Volare registered to Mr. Knight stuck in the mud off Ridge Road in Hanover.

Police are intensifying their search for Mr. Knight, whose neighbors described him as a polite, quiet man who cut grass, delivered pizzas and did other odd jobs to earn a living.

"He didn't seem to stay in a job very long," said Ed Fuss, who lives next door to the subdivided Cape Cod where Mr. Knight rented an apartment. "Every time you talk to him, he's quitting one job and going to another."

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