GREENSBURG, Pa. - Police say a Philadelphia man who had just been released from jail immediately stole a car from the jail parking lot.
Westmoreland County Prison officials say that moments after 36-year-old Thomas Lee Williams was released, he attacked a woman in the parking lot Tuesday evening and stole her car, driving off with the victim's 1-year-old grandson in the back seat.
Williams crashed about 15 minutes later in Youngwood and ran into the woods, where he was apprehended.
The child's mother was inside the prison wrapping up a visit with her son's father, when this happened.
Dotty Pearlman told Channel 11 she and her grandson have bruises on their bodies.
She said the suspect came out of nowhere, forced himself inside the car and told Pearlman to drive.
Not only did she refuse, but she said she really put up a fight to get her grandson to safety.
"He opened my door and pushed me out, and I got back in the car and pushed him over," she said. "I said, 'You can’t do this, I have a baby in the car,' and that’s when he pushed me out. He threw it into reverse and backed it up, and I tried to get the baby out the car while the car was going."
Police say Williams was back in custody Wednesday on $250,000 bail. Both the boy and his grandmother were taken to hospitals to be checked out.
"He was out for about 15 minutes. I think the whole incident was about an hour," said Kirk Nolan, chief of the Westmoreland County Park Police. "He went to the passenger's side of the vehicle, opened the door and proceeded to assault a 65-year-old woman. After he assaulted her, he had her forcibly exit the vehicle, he jumped in the passenger side and fled the area."
Williams pleaded guilty in January 2017 to dealing drugs and was ordered released Tuesday.
No lawyer who could speak for Williams is listed in online court documents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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