NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The weeklong odyssey of a registered sex offender traveling with a missing teenage girl from Florida ended after a sighting by a Louisiana truck stop cashier triggered a lengthy police chase, authorities say.
Officers pursued a pickup truck driven by Steven Myers, 41, for miles, throwing down spike strips that blew out most of the vehicle’s tires, law enforcement agents said. Myers is accused of stabbing the 16-year-old girl and then himself before being subdued, officials said.
The cashier at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, said security footage later showed the two were in the store 75 seconds. She said she recognized the girl from video she had chanced upon on Facebook before being called to work an unscheduled shift Wednesday night.
“My stomach dropped,” Fawn Lasseigne Domingue, 28, said.
Since the girl had gone missing from the Tampa, Florida, area on June 11, family and neighbors had started social media campaigns, passed out fliers, and tried to get the word out through the press. Her home is about a 10-hour drive from Grosse Tete.
Wanting to be certain, Domingue went to the office and pulled up the video segment on her phone. When she returned, Myers and the girl were already outside the store. Manager Scott Holbrook said Domingue told him, “Call the police. It’s a kidnapped girl,” and followed them into the parking lot.
Domingue said Myers was about to pull out of the lot in the pickup when the first deputy arrived and she pointed out the truck, which authorities later said was stolen in the Florida Panhandle. Two more police cars showed up almost immediately, the cashier said.
Authorities said the chase lasted for miles through truck and car traffic.
Cpl. Paul Mouton of the Lafayette Police Department said the man got out of the truck with a knife, and officers subdued him with a stun gun and a police dog. Officers then got the girl out of the truck. Myers allegedly stabbed the girl, then himself, and was bitten by the police dog, authorities said.
The Plant City, Florida, man and the 16-year-old girl, from Valrico, were hospitalized Thursday in serious but stable condition with knife wounds, according to police.
Myers, who registered in Plant City as a sex offender, will face charges including attempted murder and unlawful sexual activity, officials in the two states said. He has served two Georgia prison sentences, the first for a 1999 conviction on child molestation charges and the second for a parole violation. He was released in February 2012.
“To hear that your daughter, your baby, has been stabbed … I wouldn’t wish that on anyone,” the girl’s father said Thursday at a news conference in Tampa. But he said, “I know my daughter’s strong. I know she’ll pull through this.”
The Associated Press is not identifying the girl or her family because of allegations that she was sexually assaulted.
The teen, who had missing since June 11, is bipolar and had left her medications behind, officials said. The girl wasn’t kidnapped, but Myers had manipulated her to go with him, Hillsborough sheriff’s Col. Donna Lusczynski said in the Tampa area.
Lusczynski and Sheriff Brett Stassi of Iberville Parish both said Myers stabbed himself after getting out of the truck, and told police to shoot him. Mouton would not confirm or deny that scenario.
Myers fled, repeatedly swerving at cars and tractor-trailers he was passing in an effort to cause crashes that would stop or slow the police cars behind him, Stassi also said.
“He never stopped. The truck gave out on him,” said Stassi, who said his deputies chased Myers from start to finish.
Mouton said spike strips thrown down by state police blew out five of the six tires on the truck, a work pickup with a welding rig on the back.
“He was running with no rubber at all,” Stassi said.
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(Photo Source: AP)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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