Teen charged with stealing car with child inside
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A homeless teenager has been charged with stealing a car that had a 6-year-old boy inside. Daniel Rohman, 18, faces one count of tampering with a motor vehicle and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. A juvenile accomplice who was arrested with Rohman has yet to be charged.
The Independence boy is fine even though the car crashed into some woods near E. 18th Street and Menown Avenue on Saturday.
The bizarre chain of events began Saturday, October 12 around 11 a.m. A man on a bike accidentally ran over a pet chihuahua belonging to Dave and Bev Stacy. Before heading to the veterinarian, Bev buckled her grandson in the backseat and then went back inside her home at 8843 Blue Ridge Boulevard to help her husband to the car because he uses an oxygen tank to help himself breathe.
As Bev was walking into house, she and her husband saw two teenagers jump in their Toyota Camry and drive off with 6-year-old grandson in the backseat. Police said as soon at the two teenage suspects realized there was a child in the backseat they jumped out of the car while the engine was still running.
“Apparently they didn’t care, they were looking after themselves” Bev said. “They knew it was wrong to take a vehicle but double wrong by having a child in there so they bail out. They just leave him. They didn’t care whether he lived or died.”
The car rolled downhill before crashing into some woods. The boy climbed out of the car before this grandparents could reach him.
“He was holding his arms up saying, ‘grandma, grandpa’ shaking, it shook him up pretty bad,” Dave Stacy said.
After a short chase, police arrested Rohman and a juvenile accomplice.
It was nearly a happy ending except for “Shorty” the pet chihuahua.
He never made it to the veterinarian after being run over by the stranger on the bike.
“My little dog, he died in my arms,” Dave said.