PITCAIRN, Pa. (AP/KDKA) – Police say a Pittsburgh-area woman is facing charges for leaving her five children alone so she could drive her fugitive boyfriend across the state to avoid arrest.
Thirty-four-year-old Tiffany Jackson, of Pitcairn, is charged with child endangerment and with hindering the apprehension of her boyfriend, 24-year-old Raheem Harvey, among other charges.
Pitcairn police say Jackson drove Harvey to Philadelphia on Wednesday because police have warrants for his arrest, while leaving her children behind. Police say they range in age from 16 years old to 9 months old.
Jackson told her 16-year-old daughter to watch the other children and didn’t say when she would return home. The daughter then called her aunt, who contacted Pitcairn Police.
“They haven’t heard from their mother in over a day,” Pitcairn Police Chief Scott Farally said. “The 16-year-old reached out to her aunt, who was a complainant of this pertaining to them being alone and being concerned and scared.”
Police say they’ve tried but failed to find Harvey at Jackson’s house several times and that they have body camera video of her being told he’s wanted by police on assault and other charges.
Jackson and Harvey were arrested at a Greensburg hotel early Friday afternoon.
According to the hotel, Jackson and Harvey checked in last Monday. They reportedly got into a fight and hotel employees threatened to call police. After seeing a news report about a woman accused of abandoning her children, hotel employees called state police Friday morning.
State police were forced to taser Harvey after a short foot chase.
“We were able to go and pick up Mrs. Jackson at the PSP in Greensburg,” Farally said. “However, Mr. Harvey is still in the custody of Pennsylvania State Police for additional charges.”
Jackson was arraigned on numerous counts of endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person and hindering apprehension.
Harvey remains locked up in the Westmoreland County Jail, charged with hindering apprehension and resisting arrest.
As for the children, police say there were no serious signs of neglect, but they say baby-sitting four kids who don’t know the whereabouts of their mother is too much to ask of a 16-year-old girl.
“Is a 16-year-old able to baby-sit? Correct. However, when the 16-year-old reaches out for help, knowing that she’s too stressed to do this and she doesn’t know what to do, that’s when the police got involved,” Farally said.
Jackson was previously convicted in 2011 of endangering the welfare of children and she spent two years under house arrest. She is now jailed on $50,000 bond with a preliminary hearing scheduled for September.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)