Man Charged With Abandoning Boy
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An 18-year-old man with a history of emotional problems is accused of stealing his cousin’s car while her 2-year-old son was inside it and then abandoning the boy alongside a highway in near-freezing cold.
Rich Reginald Blackwell was charged Friday with kidnapping and child abuse and was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Blackwell had accompanied his cousin and her son to a post office near Los Angeles International Airport, police said. When she couldn’t find a parking spot, she asked him to drive around the building while she went inside.
She came outside to find her car missing _ and no sign or Blackwell or her son, Jonathan Thomas.
A truck driver found the boy early Tuesday morning near a truck stop along Interstate 5. His mother’s cellular phone number was written on a napkin and stuffed into a pocket of his clothing.
Jonathan was treated at a hospital for exposure and then reunited with his mother, Kendra Hughes.
Blackwell, who police said has a history of emotional problems, was arrested shortly afterward.