ELLIOTT (KDKA) — A mother in Pittsburgh’s Elliott neighborhood got the fright of her life as she left her home to take the two youngest of her five children to daycare before going to work.
It happened around 4 p.m. on Crucible Street on Wednesday.
The woman warmed up her red Pontiac Montana van before putting her 1-month-old baby girl in the back seat. Turning back to get her 3-year-old daughter and lock the front door, a stranger jumped behind the wheel.
“And then my daughter just turned around and she says, ‘Mom!’” the woman told KDKA-TV. “But when he pulled out, that’s when I saw the baby sitting on the street over there.”
Tucked into her car seat, the suspect left the child in the middle of the street.
“So I had the baby and I was so happy,” the mother said. “It could have been a terrible tragedy.”
The alleged carjacker is identified as 19-year-old Robert Mickens of Beltzhoover. The woman says Mickens brought his own traveling music, ejecting her gospel CD and substituting a rap disc from Waka Flocka.
Shortly after, Zone 6 Police Officer Shawn Luff spotted the red van on Route 51 at Banksville Road. Mickens’ ride was over.
“I just thank God my baby is okay – that’s the most important thing of my life, you know, my baby,” the mother said.
Valentine Fonji was at work when he got the call from his wife. The family came here from West Africa and until this incident, they always felt safe.
“I had confidence in the Pittsburgh police,” he said. “I know that would do something about it.”
The mother agrees that great police work and a bible on the dashboard saved their baby girl.
“Prayers do help,” she said. “I pray every day, every day, for my kids, because anything can happen.”
Mickens was arrested and charged with theft and reckless endangerment.