MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Meriden man lead police on a nine-mile chase around midnight Thursday after threatening a baby at two gas stations late Wednesday night, officials say.
Wallingford police say they were called to a Gulf station on North Colony Road at 11:54 p.m. after 25-year-old Richard Stevenson allegedly went inside, put $8 on the counter, demanded $40 in gas, then held a knife to the baby and threatened to stab it after the clerk questioned him. They say he pumped the gas and left.
At 11:56 p.m., officers were called to a Meriden Shell station on East Main Street after Stevenson allegedly yelled he needed a cell phone or he was going to stab a baby. They say he then picked the baby up and motioned as if he had stabbed it before fleeing on East Main Street towards Middletown.
“There was a broadcast for the vehicle,” said Connecticut Trooper Kelly Grant. “Another town was looking for the vehicle.”
State police then reported they were pursuing a vehicle on Route 66, similar to the one Stevenson left the gas station in. Stop sticks were deployed at the Meriden town line.
“Troopers deploy those sticks by throwing them out in roadway when the vehicle in question is headed in their direction,” said Grant. “When the vehicle runs over the sticks, little spikes are injected into the tires of the vehicle.”
Police say Stevenson was forced to stop on I-691 after hitting a police cruiser. He was taken into custody.
“Troopers found the 11-month-old child unrestrained on the front seat of that vehicle,” Grant said.
The crying baby was taken to the hospital and was found to be uninjured, according to officials. Stevenson’s relation to the child is not known.
The Maple Street man faces a list of charges, including first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, criminal attempt at first-degree assault, and first-degree threatening.