Police have identified the man charged with stealing a car with two young children inside and leading police on a chase through Northeast Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
Lakim McDonald, 23, of the 5600 block of Washington Avenue in West Philadelphia, is charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, fleeing police, two counts of kidnapping, reckless endangerment, and other related offenses. He was being held on $100,000 bail.
The incident began after an unidentified 28-year-old mother stopped at a friend’s house in the 1000 block of Van Kirk Street in Summerdale to drop something off while her two boys, ages 1 and 6, remained in the backseat, police said. In that moment, McDonald allegedly got behind the wheel of her idling 2010 Toyota Camry and took off.
When the mother reached her friend’s front door, she turned around to make the frightening discovery that the Camry and her sons were gone, police said. She quickly flagged down a passing police car.
Other police units in the area, including an Aviation Unit helicopter, quickly tracked down the white Camry, but McDonald evaded police. He abandoned the sedan after crashing into a curb less than two miles away near the Castor and Wyoming Avenues traffic circle in Crescentville, police said.
With TV news cameras recording the arrest, McDonald was pulled from the damaged car and handcuffed, but the children were no longer inside the vehicle. The boys remained missing when the mother was brought to the scene, according to police. McDonald admitted to dropping the children off on the 4700 block of Darrah Street, police said. At around the same time, a 911 call confirmed their location.
According to court records, McDonald pleaded guilty in 2015 to burglary and was sentenced to five years’ probation.