INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis man charged with kidnapping for the abduction of his 3-month-old daughter on Tuesday, prompting a statewide Silver Alert, took the girl after a violent encounter with his ex-girlfriend that started with an argument over a bandage, court papers say.
Lawrence Whitsitt, 20, faces felony charges of kidnapping, intimidation, domestic battery, child neglect, and resisting law enforcement.
Whitsitt, who police say does not have custody of 3-month-old La’Lani Peaches, is accused of taking the baby girl from her mother after a fight on Tuesday and keeping her for about a day before turning himself in.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by News 8, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were called to a domestic disturbance in the 1200 block of 75th Court Terrace just before 5 p.m. Tuesday. That’s an address at the Hampton Court Apartments near West 73rd Street and Ditch Road.
Police arrived and spoke with Whitsitt’s ex-girlfriend, Aaliyah McGee, who is also the mother of his child. McGee told officers that Whisitt, who was known to her only by his alias, “Larry Peaches,” took their infant daughter after an argument in his apartment turned violent.
McGee said Whitsitt “had begun arguing with her because he felt she was having an attitude with her about changing the bandage on what she believes to be a bullet graze wound on his leg,” IMPD Officer Charles King wrote in the probable cause affidavit.
McGee told police Whitsitt told her to get out of his apartment, so packed her belongings in a rolling suitcase and prepared to leave. As she was taking the suitcase out the door of the second-story apartment, Whitsitt “kicked the suitcase, causing her to fall down the stairs,” King wrote.
“As McGee was trying to get up, he came down the stairs and kicked her in the face,” court documents read. “He then began to drag her bag back up the stairs…she let go to get her other belongings and he grabbed her by the hood of her coat and drug her up the stairs and back into the apartment.”
During this entire incident, Whitsitt was holding Peaches, court papers say.
McGee managed to get free and ran to a nearby apartment building, where she called 911 and then hid in a laundry room until officers arrived.
“She stated that Mr. Whitsitt was walking around the complex yelling that she would never see her daughter again. Every time a resident of that building opened the front door, Ms. McGee hid and cowered in the corner of the room in fear that it may be Mr. Whitsitt,” King wrote.
As McGee spoke with police, officers spotted a man in all-black clothing leave Whitsitt’s apartment building carrying an infant car seat. He went into a carport and got behind the wheel of a silver 2012 GMC Terrain SUV.
McGee identified the man as “Larry Peaches” and said the SUV was his. Police ran the plates and confirmed the SUV belonged to Whitsitt, a.k.a Larry Peaches.
As soon as the SUV started pulling out of the carport, an officer yelled for Whitsitt to stop.
“The unidentified passenger in the SUV made eye contact with the officer and the vehicle sped off out of the parking lot. By the time officers could return to their cars and exit the apartment complex, the SUV was nowhere to be found,” court papers say.
Shortly after the abduction, IMPD issued an alert asking Indy residents to be on the lookout for Whitsitt, Peaches, and the silver GMC SUV. A statewide Silver Alert was issued early Wednesday.
Just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, more than 24 hours after Peaches and Whitsitt disappeared, IMPD put out a tweet saying he had been arrested and the little girl was safe.
Court papers say Whitsitt turned himself in at IMPD Northwest District headquarters off 38th Street and Guion Road. He had his daughter and his attorney with him at the time.
Peaches was taken by the Department of Child Services and later reunited with her mother.
“I’m just happy La’Lani is safe. She’s out of harm’s way,” DaWonda Mack, Peaches’ grandmother, told News 8’s Danielle Zulkosky on Wednesday night.
Whitsitt was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail. Online jail records show he was booked on numerous charges and released Thursday after posting bond. He has been ordered to stay away from his ex-girlfriend and his daughter.
An initial court appearance is set for Feb. 8 at 9 a.m.
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