WATCH: Cruiser video of pursuit in child abduction

Published: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 @ 10:03 PM
Updated: Friday, March 11, 2016 @ 6:05 PM

            Police have released cruiser camera video of a speedy pursuit along several Dayton streets March 1 involving two suspects in the theft of an SUV with six children.
Police have released cruiser camera video of a speedy pursuit along several Dayton streets March 1 involving two suspects in the theft of an SUV with six children.

Police have released cruiser camera video of a speedy pursuit along several Dayton streets March 1 involving two suspects in the theft of an SUV with six children inside.

Here are some key details:

  • The children were left in the SUV at the AM/PM market
  • The vehicle was left running, with keys in ignition
  • The children were found safe - in the van - minutes later
  • They range in age from 18 months to 10 years old
  • Police: The adult who left the kids is likely to be charged


UPDATE @ 6 p.m. (March 11): Dayton police today released cruiser camera footage of the March 1 pursuit that led to the capture of two persons of interest in a child abduction case.

UPDATE @12:11 p.m. (March 2):

A 911 caller told dispatchers someone took a woman’s car with six children inside from the area near the AM/PM Market on Salem Avenue.

“Someone just took off in this lady’s car and her kids were in the car,” the caller said, as the victim relayed information to her.

The caller said the victim was in tears as she tried to explain to her what happened.

Daquaan Norman, 24, and Shelesa Long, 25, were arrested following a pursuit that ended on North Gettysburg that is believed to possibly be connected to the abduction case on Salem Avenue, according to officials

Police said Norman and Long were going to be questioned about the abduction incident, but have not confirmed if Norman and Long are indeed the suspects in that case.

Norman and Long were both booked on receiving stolen property charges. Norman also could face a charge of failure to comply.

UPDATE @ 11:22 p.m. (March 1): The case of the stolen SUV with six children inside is being investigated as a grand theft auto-abduction, Dayton police Lt. Mark Ponichtera said.

About 20 minutes after the SUV and children were found, Dayton officers on patrol in the area of North Gettysburg Avenue, near West Hillcrest Avenue, saw a vehicle that matched the description of one connected to the theft of the SUV.

That vehicle, a Chevy Impala, turned out to be stolen out of Montgomery County, the lieutenant said.

Police engaged in three separate pursuits of that car, deploying spiked sticks on two occasions, before stopping the car on North Gettysburg and Grafix Boulevard. All four tires were deflated.

The pursuit lasted an estimated 18 to 20 minutes, reaching speeds of 75 to 80 mph. No one was injured.

The male and female arrested will be questioned as persons of interest in the SUV theft/abduction. At the minimum, the driver will be charged with receiving stolen property and failure to comply with the order and signal of a police officer.

“We are still not certain these two individuals are involved in that crime,” Ponichtera said of the SUV theft/abduction, but police have a lot of information that leads them to consider the male and female persons of interest in the original incident.

The SUV theft/abduction “is a shining example not to leave your car running, with the keys in it, not to leave the kids in the car unattended, and that’s what in fact did happen,” the lieutenant said.

The adult who left the children in the SUV more than likely will be charged with child endangerment, he said.

The children range in age from 18 months to 10 years old.

UPDATE @ 10:45 p.m.: A pursuit stemming from the incident involving the stolen SUV with six children inside has ended with the arrest of two suspects in the area of North Gettysburg Avenue and Grafix Boulevard.

The arrests occurred about 10:30 p.m. after a speedy pursuit involving several Dayton police cruisers that lasted roughly 10 minutes.

A male and female have been taken into custody from a Chevy Impala. Its front tires have been flattened by spiked sticks police used during the pursuit.


Six children left inside an SUV stolen from the AM/PM market, in the 2300 block of Salem Avenue, have been found with the vehicle, Dayton police Lt. Mark Ponichtera said.

Police found the SUV — the children are not believed to have been harmed — parked behind an apartment complex on Fairview Avenue sometime between 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., Ponichtera said.

He said the thief left the vehicle and police are looking for him.

Police had been searching an area of West Fairview Avenue and Catalpa Drive for the SUV, described as green. Before they found it, they were working off information that the SUV was last seen headed south on Salem.

We will update this developing report as we get information.

For the latest on this report and other breaking news sent to your mobile device, download the WHIO mobile app.

Springboro teacher in drug case among ‘most admired and respected’ in district

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 1:02 AM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 9:20 PM

Amy Panzeca, 48, a fifth-grade teacher at Springboro Community Schools, pleads not guilty to drug-related charges Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, in a Warren County courtroom.
Amy Panzeca, 48, a fifth-grade teacher at Springboro Community Schools, pleads not guilty to drug-related charges Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, in a Warren County courtroom.(SEAN CUDAHY / STAFF)

Amy Panzeca’s personnel file paints a picture of an exemplary and dedicated teacher.

Nothing foretells her arrest this week on drug charges nor the letter sent Wednesday from her employer, Springboro Community Schools. It stated:

"Effective immediately and until further notice, you are hereby placed on paid administrative leave pending the resolution of your pending legal circumstances."

Her base salary was $72,623 in 2016, according to the Dayton Daily News I-Team's Payroll Project. 

RELATED: Police build drug case against Springboro teacher and son by stopping cars in Settlers Walk

Panzeca, 48, and her 15-year-old son were arrested Monday night, and both were in court Tuesday. Panzeca pleaded not guilty to felony permitting drug use and misdemeanor charges of endangering children and contributing to the unruliness of a minor. 

Court documents allege Panzeca allowed the sale and use of drugs, including LSD and marijuana, in her Christman Drive home in Springboro's Settlers Walk neighborhood. 

"She was aware that drug trafficking was going on and was aware that drug use was going on and was aware of that fact for several months," Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said earlier this week of Panzeca and her son. "This juvenile was trafficking LSD to somewhere between 20 and 30 students, most of whom attended Springboro High School." 

RELATED: Teacher’s home on Christman Drive raided by drug task force

A year before her home was raided in May by a Warren County drug task force, Panzeca received a much different letter from the district. The April 2016 letter was to inform her of a nomination for the prestigious EPIC (Engage, Prepare, Inspire and Challenge) Teaching Award. Nominations come from parents, staff, alumni and community members. Although Panzeca did not receive the award, the letter included in her personnel file stated the nomination "places you among the most admired and respected educators in our district." 

Panzeca first joined the district at Clearcreek Elementary School for the 1994-95 academic year, when she was known by her maiden name Amy Arnold. 

RELATED: Teachers in trouble: 5 times allegations levied at area teachers

Throughout her 23-year career at Springboro Schools, she taught fifth, sixth and eighth grades. She spent the most number of years teaching fifth-graders, most recently at Five Points Elementary School. 

Evaluations showed Panzeca was a highly competent teacher; she had a good rapport with her students; and she planned engaging lessons for her classroom. In July 2003, she earned a permanent teaching license for first through eighth grades by the Ohio Department of Education. 

At different points in her career, Panzeca served as the head junior high cheerleading coach; vice president of the teachers union, Springboro Education Association; and as a mentor teacher. 

>> Warren County Jail mugs

Before she was offered a full-time position at Springboro Schools, the Miami University graduate worked as a substitutue teacher for Springboro Schools and several Butler County school districts, including Fairfield City, Lakota Local and Ross Local schools, according to Panzeca's employment application. 

Springboro school officials said a permanent substitue would take over Panzeca's classroom duties for this academic year, and that parents of affected students were to be notified. At the same time Panzeca was placed on leave, her name was pulled from the district’s online staff directory.

She is scheduled to appear Aug. 31 in court.

New Carlisle woman faces prison for smuggling gun in bra in jail

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 1:47 PM

A New Carlisle woman accused of concealing an unloaded .22-caliber pistol in her bra in the Miami County Jail faces up to three years in prison. STEVE BAKER/STAFF
A New Carlisle woman accused of concealing an unloaded .22-caliber pistol in her bra in the Miami County Jail faces up to three years in prison. STEVE BAKER/STAFF

A New Carlisle woman accused of concealing an unloaded .22-caliber pistol in her bra in the Miami County Jail faces up to three years in prison after pleading guilty to felony illegal conveyance into a facility.

Cassondra Workman, 25, was charged May 21 after being taken to the jail by Troy police officers, who arrested her on a warrant out of Clark County.

Workman told deputies she was able to conceal the weapon in her clothing and then in the shower before concealing it in the waistband of her jail uniform. Reports said Workman was placed in the jail indoor rec area to wait until Clark County deputies arrived. Before she was transferred to those deputies, she changed back into her clothing in a shower room and said she put the gun in her bra at that time.

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A Clark County deputy, patting down Workman before leaving the jail, found the firearm in her bra, took possession of it and told corrections staff.

Workman pleaded guilty this week in Miami County Common Pleas Court, where she will be sentenced Sept. 25.

Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said an administrative review of the incident showed Workman likely concealed the gun between her thighs and, after the jail search, inserted the pistol into her bra. She was never put into the jail’s general population, he said.

The correction officer was a newer employee, and the incident was attributed to “human error/negligence,” Duchak said. The officer received corrective action, he said.

Duchak said the body scanner ordered for the jail last week will assist in averting similar situations.

More charges for Ohio suspect in Charlottesville attack

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 6:11 PM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 7:30 PM

James Alex Fields Jr.
James Alex Fields Jr.

Five more felony charges were filed today against James Alex Fields Jr., the suspect in the Charlottesville car-ramming that killed one and injured more than 30.

The Charlottesville Police Department said the new charges include three counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of malicious wounding, CBS affiliate reported.

The additional charges are related to victims who suffered serious, and potentially permanently incapacitating injuries after a car allegedly driven by Fields plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters Aug. 12 at a white supremacist rally.

RELATED: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville attack?

Fields already was charged with murder for the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer of Charlottesville and three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and-run. 

Of those injured, 19 required hospitalization. All but three have been released and those three are listed in good condition, reported.

Police said the investigation is continuing and that more charges likely will follow.

Earlier this week, the mayor of Maumee, Ohio, released a statement saying Fields has never been a city resident.

RELATED: Ohio man charged in crash into Charlottesville crowd; 3 dead, 35 hurt

While his apartment had a Maumee mailing address it was not in the city. There also were reports Fields moved to that apartment from a different rental property in Maumee, which also is not true, Mayor Richard H. Carr stated on Monday. 

"Our city of Maumee has been linked with our neighbors in Charlottesville, Virginia, for reasons that neither of our communities could have ever expected. We extend our most sincere sympathy to the residents of Charlottesville and to the family of Heather Heyer on their tragic loss,"

Family of Medway man killed on Tecumseh Road files wrongful death suit

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 4:15 PM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 4:49 PM

Crash victim's family files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a man struck and killed on Tecumseh Road nearly a year ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owners of the SUV state troopers have alleged hit him.

Lawrence J. Mason, 45, of Medway, allegedly was struck and killed by a silver 2015 Dodge Durango on Tuesday, Sept. 6, according to a state patrol crash report. Mason was standing on the east shoulder of North Tecumseh Road in Bethel Twp. near U.S. 40 when he was hit, a crash report says, and the vehicle allegedly fled the scene.

RELATED: SUV owner ID’d in fatal Clark County hit-and-run; driver not known yet

The vehicle was determined to be owned by Eliot J. Baggs of Springfield and the SUV had damage to the right front of the vehicle, according to a crash report. Baggs previously declined to comment about the crash to the Springfield News-Sun and neither him nor his wife, Kristine Baggs, could be reached for comment on Friday.

Jordyn N. Mason is the daughter of the crash victim and the administrator of his estate. She filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Clark County Common Pleas court on Aug. 11.

She has sued Eliot and Kristine Baggs, seeking medical and burial costs, and other damages in excess of $25,000.

READ MORE: Springfield police unsure why woman killed on U.S. 40 was in road

The lawsuit alleges Eliot and/or Kristine Baggs, “fled the scene of the accident without checking on (Lawrence Mason’s) welfare and/or notifying authorities until two days later; and even then have failed to be forthcoming with information and/or cooperate with the investigation of this incident.”

Lt. Brian Aller with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said the crash investigation has been turned over to investigators at the patrol’s headquarters in Columbus. The state investigators declined to comment because it remains under investigation.

No charges have been filed in the case at this time.

Lawrence Mason’s daughter and other family members have suffered mental and emotional anguish caused by his traumatic death, the lawsuit alleges.

DETAILS: Family wants driver in deadly Clark County crash to come forward

“Plaintiff Jordyn N. Mason suffered damages for the loss of his society of his life expectancy, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, joys, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training and education,” the lawsuit says.

Jordyn Mason declined to comment and her attorney, Kenneth Ignozzi, didn’t return a call seeking comment.