Hopewell police officers saved a infant from two armed men after the suspects drove off in the family's car that was left running in front of a Wawa store.
Police were alerted about 10:57 p.m. Saturday that a vehicle had been stolen with a 6-month-old girl still inside from the Wawa at 907 Colonial Court Drive in Hopewell, police said.
As officers were canvassing the area, they spotted the car traveling north on 6th Street and the driver attempted to elude police.
When officers tried to stop the car, the two men bailed out and began running, leaving the car in drive. The car, with the infant still inside, traveled a short distance before eventually coming to a stop against a tree on a dead-end street, said Hopewell police Chief Kamran Afzal.
Sgt. Trevor Terry, who was behind the vehicle, attended to the child while additional officers began looking for the two suspects, who ran in different directions, Afzal said. After a brief foot pursuit, the two men were taken into custody. A firearm was recovered near one of the men.
The infant was found to be safe and checked by Hopewell Fire and Rescue paramedics before being reunited with the parents.
Both of the child's parents left their daughter inside the family's vehicle, which was still running, when they went into the Wawa store. "We referred them to child protective services," Afzal said.
The chief said it appears the suspects did not realize the child was in the car when they stole it. The baby was in a car seat in the rear of the vehicle, Afzal said.
The suspects were identified as Alvontae Lewton Clayton, 19, of Chesterfield, and Andrew Cortez Scott Jr., 19, of Hopewell. Both men were charged with abduction, grand larceny, conspiracy, felony child endangerment and obstruction of justice.
Clayton also was charged with eluding police and running a stop light. Scott was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
Police urged anyone who may have witnessed the incident or was traveling in the area when it occurred to call Hopwell police at (804) 541-2284 or Hopewell/Prince George Crime Solvers at (804) 541-2202. Tips can be provided anonymously via the P3tips app.