ST. PETERSBURG -- Latoya Lashawn Knight managed to combine allegations of road rage and child abuse on Wednesday, according to police, and she pulled off both at the same time.
She's accused of chasing and ramming another car off the road, endangering her own infant son and two unrestrained girls in her backseat and the two other children in the other vehicle
Also in the other vehicle was the object of her ire: Knight's boyfriend, who was riding with an ex-girlfriend.
When police finally caught up to Knight, police say, she took off running -- leaving her own children behind.
Knight, 21, was arrested on charges of aggravated battery with a motor vehicle, domestic aggravated battery and five counts of aggravated child abuse. According to police, around 5 p.m. Knight spotted her boyfriend getting into an ex-girlfriend's 2000 Honda Civic. "She just got angry," said police spokesman Bill Proffitt.
Knight pulled her 1995 Nissan Sentra behind the Civic around 12th Avenue S and 34th Street, according to St. Petersburg police, and started ramming the other car -- repeatedly.
Police say she did this knowing there were other children -- a 5-week old baby girl and a 5-year-old girl
-- inside the victim's vehicle. The victim, a 24-year-old woman who was not identified by police, started turning to evade Knight.
The chase ended at 5th Avenue S and 17th Street, when police believe Knight somehow pulled off one of their own tactical moves: the "PIT" maneuver, when one vehicle spins another vehicle off the road.
Usually police use it to stop fleeing suspects. But somehow Knight did it to the Civic while chasing it east on 5th Avenue S, police say, sending it spinning across the opposite, westbound lanes. The Civic hit a fence and a pole and then ended up in the grass underneath the interstate.
Knight then fled from the officer, driving to an apartment complex where police say she abandoned her 8-month-old boy and two girls -- ages 2 and 4
-- in the car and hid in an apartment. That's where detectives arrested her.
Knight's infant was in a carrier, police say, but the two children weren't in child safety seat
s. The children in the victim's car were properly restrained, police say. No one was injured in the victim's vehicle, but the mother took her youngest to the hospital for a check-up.
The 26-year-old boyfriend, who police did not identify, has children with both women, according to police
. Knight, of 2331 13th Ave. S, is being held in the Pinellas County jail without bond.