Dale Leroy Knight, a divorced father of two sons, was being held on $400,000 bail today after being charged with kidnapping and a second-degree sex offense in the abduction of a 6-year-old Glen Burnie girl.
Knight, 34, was being held in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center for a bail review hearing today. He also is charged with attempting to abduct two other girls.
Anne Arundel County Police Sgt. Thomas Suit said Knight touched 6-year-old Lindsay Saxon "in a sexual way" after he abducted her from a playground in Glen Burnie on Sunday. Lindsay escaped from her kidnapper after his car got stuck in the mud in a remote wooded area near Baltimore-Washington International Airport and she went to a house near Furnace Road in Howard County, police said. The family there called Howard County police.
The two attempted kidnapping charges involve a 5-year-old girl Sunday morning and a 12-year-old girl Sept. 30.
The attempted abduction of Farah Lee Dorr, 5, from a playground on Crainmont Drive in Glen Burnie took place Sunday before Lindsay was abducted. Farah screamed and drew the attention of bystanders, forcing the man who had picked her up to put her down and flee, police said.
Knight also is charged with the attempted kidnapping of Jaime Backes, 12, at the same Crainmont Drive school playground on Sept. 30.
Sunday's abduction of Lindsay occurred in front of her 9-year-old sister, Michelle, police said. Police said both children identified Knight from a photograph yesterday morning after he turned himself in at the county police Northern District precinct at the urging of his mother, "Sis" Knight.
Police said Knight told them he has a drug problem and injects cocaine.
"When he gets high, he's a little uncontrollable," Suit said. "He readily admits to that."
Dale Knight's neighbors from the secluded Point Pleasant area off Furnace Branch Road yesterday described him as a nice, handsome man whose life fell apart after a divorce six years ago.
In the mid-1980s, he held a steady job and owned a home in Crofton, said a friend, Julie Maul.
His former wife has moved to Florida and he hasn't seen his two sons, now ages 9 and 11, in five years, Maul said.
Knight was on probation from an arrest in Washington last January on charges of possession of PCP with intent to #i distribute, a state parole department spokeswoman said.
The arrest for kidnapping shocked Maul and her husband, Cameron, who live next door to Mrs. Knight.
"This just blew me away," Julie Maul said. "I knew he had some problems, but I didn't expect him to have done that. He's not that kind of a guy. The guy's so bumbling -- that's how he is. . . .
"I don't know whether he meant to do them any harm or that he just missed his kids. He's a parent, too."
Maul said Knight's mother was devastated after she learned there was a warrant out for her son for the September incident.
Mrs. Knight accompanied her son to the police station at 9:30 a.m. yesterday. At the same time, Mrs. Knight's mother was undergoing heart surgery, Maul said. Knight has a younger brother and sister.
"She's in a state of shock now," Maul said of Mrs. Knight. "The family is close. His mother would do anything for him, so would his family. They are upset -- they don't have any idea why."
Maul said Mrs. Knight recently took over her son's finances and was paying his rent and other bills because he had trouble managing his affairs.
After Knight turned himself in, detectives searched his tiny garage apartment on South Meadow Drive.
His landlady runs a day care center for six children out of the adjoining house, neighbors said. No children were dropped off for baby sitting services yesterday.
At the doorstep of Knight's apartment is a doormat that says, "Home Is Where The Heart Is" and the tiny efficiency apartment is sparsely decorated.
After a search of the apartment, Suit said detectives found pornography and other unspecified devices he said were related to the charges.
"At this time, we are trying to ascertain that he's not involved in any other incidents in surrounding counties," Suit said.