State troopers arrested a 20-year-old woman who allegedly attempted to abduct a child at a Morgantown gas station after reports she was also attempting to carjack motorists in the area.
According to a criminal complaint, Trooper A.L. Barnette responded to Mileground Road in Morgantown after dispatchers reported several callers saying a female was attempting to “enter in and steal” multiple vehicles traveling on the road.
The callers said the woman, later identified as Jazlynn Sierra Spell, 20, of Charlotte, N.C., was attempting to open vehicle doors and “when she couldn’t she began striking the vehicles and/or the occupants.”
As Barnette arrived on scene, the Sheetz on Mileground Road reported an attempted child abduction in their parking lot, the complaint said.
On scene at Sheetz, Barnette found a woman matching the description sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the parking lot. He placed the woman in handcuffs and took her back to the police cruiser, where he identified her as Spell.
According to Barnette’s complaint, he then placed Spell in the cruiser, locked the door and began to walk away to gather more information when he heard the cruiser door open and saw Spell trying to escape.
Barnette was able to stop her and attempted to put her back in the police vehicle, but she refused to sit down and tensed her body so he was not able to.
Barnette called for assistance from another trooper, the complaint said, but Spell continued to resist both officers, including kicking Barnette several times. Officers were eventually able to get her into the cruiser and immediately transported her to the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office due to her aggressive behavior and resistance.
Barnette then spoke with the victim of the alleged attempted kidnapping, a 9-year-old female, “who was currently crying,” the complaint said.
The child, who was with her grandmother, told the officer they had just pulled into a parking spot at the Sheetz and were getting out of their vehicle when Spell allegedly “ran toward [the child], grabbed her with both hands, and began to yell at her.”
Barnette’s report said the girl stated “she was very afraid of being abducted, broke free from [Spell], screamed, and ran to her grandmother.”
After the girl got away from her, Spell then walked to an unlocked vehicle in the parking lot that did not belong to her, and sat down in the driver’s seat. That is where Barnette reported he found her when he arrived on scene.
Barnette was able to gather information from witnesses, victims, and video surveillance in the area and determined that in addition to the attempted abduction, Spell “attempted to enter and steal three vehicles.”
Spell pleaded not guilty in Monongalia County Magistrate Court on Sunday to three counts of attempted grand larceny, one count attempt to escape custody, and one count attempted child abduction.
She is being held at North Central Regional Jail on $75,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Nov. 15.