Driver who towed car with children inside is charged


A tow truck driver who towed a car with two sleeping children inside from downtown to Westport yesterday afternoon has been charged with abduction, Baltimore police said.

The unidentified owner of a 1980 Buick parked on a private lot in the 200 block of W. Fayette St. about 4:30 p.m. and left a friend to watch her daughters, ages 5 and 8, who were sleeping on the back seat, police said.

The friend apparently had been distracted by a conversation when the tow truck driver hooked up the car and drove away, said witnesses, who told police that the driver did not check the car to determine whether it was occupied.

The driver, identified as Steven Cline, 36, of the 8800 block of Willowood Way in Jessup, towed the car to the lot of All American Towing in the 2900 block of Waterview Ave. in Westport.

Cline was arrested at the towing company, police said. He was waiting last night to appear before a court commissioner at the Central Booking and Intake Center.

A dispatcher at All American Towing, who did not want her name used, said she was on duty when the incident occurred.

"The children were not visible," the dispatcher said. "They were curled up underneath their coats on the seat."

Pub Date: 12/07/96

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