Good Samaritan has car stolen 5.21

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It isn’t exactly what Monica Pennington had in mind when she received her federal economic stimulus check.

The Morenci resident cashed the check, placed the money in her purse and later the purse was stolen.

But it’s much worse than that. The purse was in her car, and that was stolen, too.

The incident that started May 6 came to somewhat of a close last Friday with the arrest of Miles Lancelot Thompson, 23, of Alvordton, Ohio. He faces five counts ranging from carjacking to unarmed robbery.

Pennington was driving home about 7 a.m. May 6 from her nursing job in Adrian when she saw an approaching car swerve on Sand Creek Highway.

“He swerved and I thought, ‘That’s going to be an accident,’” she said.

The driver seemed to gain control of the vehicle but suddenly the car was airborne and overturned off the road.

Pennington dialed 911 before she came to a stop and noticed smoke coming from the crashed vehicle. She couldn’t see any movement from inside the car and was asked by the 911 dispatcher for details about the location.

Pennington got out of her vehicle and started to walk toward the nearest intersection to read the street sign. That’s when she heard someone furiously kicking against the back door trying to get out.

She thought it was probably a passenger and maybe a child of the driver. A young man emerged with blood running down his cheek.

“He was in pretty bad shape,” she said. “He tore off his jacket and came running toward me. He looked confused, a little delirious.”

By now she was wondering, “Where is the ambulance? Why haven’t the police arrived?”

“He grabbed ahold of me and started stomping on my foot,” she said.

He reached his hand inside the partially lowered window of her 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix, trying to break open the window. She knew then he wanted to steal her car.

Another passerby arrived, comforted Pennington and walked her away as the accident victim sped off in the Grand Prix.

She received reports about the investigation—the driver stole gasoline in Montpelier, Ohio, was spotted in Blissfield a day later, was last seen in Alvordton—but the story went cold until she heard from police in Sherman, Texas. Her car was found there with Illinois license plates and the driver was to be extradited to Michigan within 10 days.

After the theft, Pennington was visited by police from Pioneer, Ohio, and she identified the accident victim from a photograph. The night before the theft, she was told, Thompson had been stopped by police who suspected driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was released with a promise that he would return home.

Later they learned that he had stolen a car owned by the mayor of Pioneer. It was that 2008 Chrysler Aspen that Pennington watched leave the road and roll over.

And what about a future role as a Good Samaritan?

“I would probably stop again, but I think I’ll stay in my car until the police come,” she said. “I wasn’t injured. It could have been a lot worse.”

And she shudders to think about the situation had her children been in her car.

“He was desperate,” she said. “He was in my vehicle and gone so fast that I hardly knew what was going on.”

From now on, her purse goes with her rather than getting placed under the seat.

  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017