A 34-year-old Glen Burnie man was charged yesterday with sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl after kidnapping her from a .. school playground Sunday.
Dale LeRoy Knight, who lives alone in an apartment in the 100 block of South Meadow Drive, surrendered to Anne Arundel County police, who charged him with one count of kidnapping, one count of second-degree sex offense and two counts of attempted kidnapping.
He was being held yesterday at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on $400,000 bond, which is to be reviewed today.
Police charged Mr. Knight with sexually assaulting Lindsay Michelle Saxon of Glen Burnie based on interviews with him. Although Lindsay told detectives and her parents that she had not been harmed, Mr. Knight told police that he molested the first-grader in the woods off Ridge Road, according to the charging documents.
The sexual-assault charge shocked Lindsay's parents, who thought their daughter had been returned to them unharmed.
"We are joyous to have her back, but now things have changed and we are very upset and hurt," said Daniel Saxon, Lindsay's father.
Mr. Knight also was charged with attempting to kidnap a 12-year-old Glen Burnie girl Sept. 30 and a 6-year-old Glen Burnie girl Sunday morning. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 80 years in prison, police said.
The children in all three incidents had given police similar descriptions of the kidnapper, his car and his methods.
On Sept. 30, 12-year-old Jaime Backes was at a playground on Crainmont Drive when she noticed a man staring and smiling at her. He struck up a conversation, then tried to grab her before fleeing in a faded green car.
The same green car turned up at the playground again at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, and the driver tried to abduct 6-year-old Farah Lee Dorr, according to the charging documents. He dropped her after she began kicking and screaming.
Lindsay Saxon was building sand castles behind Point Pleasant Elementary School with her 9-year-old sister and a friend at 2:45 p.m. Sunday when a man pulled up in a faded green car.
After trying to talk to Lindsay, he snatched her and carried her to his car.
She escaped after the car got stuck in the mud and she got the chance to alert adults on Furnace Avenue in Howard County that she had been abducted.
Police found a faded green 1979 Dodge mired in the mud in a wooded area off Ridge Road in Hanover. The car is registered to Mr. Knight.
Mr. Knight was accompanied by his mother when he surrendered at the Northern District Anne Arundel police station at 9:15 a.m. yesterday. He said little during a hearing before a District Court commissioner.
Mr. Knight, who worked for Structural Steel Fabricators on West Nursery Road, was on probation for an out-of-state narcotics conviction, said Susan Kaskie, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation.
He had been arrested by U.S. Park Police in Washington in January on charges of possessing PCP with an intent to distribute.
According to neighbors, Mr.Knight has lived for about three years in an apartment attached to a home.
His landlord, who owns the house and baby-sits for six children there, described him as quiet.
"He seemed very nice and friendly," said the woman, who asked not to be identified. "He had absolutely no connection to the children and never went around them."
She said she was shocked when she heard he was suspected in the kidnapping.
"If I did have a problem with him, he would have been out before the first month," she said. "I am with the children every minute of the day. There is no way anything could have happened."