ROCKINGHAM — A South Carolina woman accused of kidnapping her own child reportedly led law enforcement on a chase that ended in Richmond County.
According to Sheriff Mark Gulledge, his office responded to a call to assist the Chesterfield County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Office in a pursuit related to the alleged kidnapping of a 3-year-old.
Deputies reportedly deployed stop sticks on U.S. 74 and when the vehicle entered Richmond County from Anson County, the tires were deflated.
The vehicle reportedly kept going on flat tires before finally stopping at a convenience store on U.S. 74.
The driver, 25-year-old Vanessa Brianna Weatherford of Chesterfield County, refused to get out of the car so deputies “were forced to break a window to gain access to the car,” according to a press release, which also states she is the biological mother of the child.
While being removed from the car, Weatherford allegedly fought with deputies, kicking one of them. She was arrested and the child was returned to Chesterfield County, according to the sheriff’s office.
The press release did not give a time element for the incident, however Richmond County Jail records show Weatherford was booked at 5:10 a.m. Wednesday, July 6.
She is charged with: fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle; assault on a government official or employee; two counts of resisting a public officer; misdemeanor child abuse and reckless driving.
Weatherford is being held on a $200,000 secured bond with a court date scheduled for July 14. She is also awaiting extradition to South Carolina on charges related to the child, according to the sheriff’s office.
South Carolina court records show Weatherford was found guilty in December 2020 of resisting arrest and distribution of methamphetamine. Related charges of child neglect and threatening the life, person or family of a public employee were dropped. She was given an 18-month suspended sentence in that case and ordered to undergo substance abuse counseling and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
The month prior, Weatherford was convicted of marijuana possession.
In 2015, records show Weatherford was convicted of malicious injury to animals or personal property where injury value $2,000 or less.
Records show Weatherford was convicted in Darlington County in 2021 of filing a false police report and resisting arrest, She was also fined in Darlington after being found guilty of third-degree assault and battery and simple larceny.
Records show no other pending charges or previous convictions in North Carolina.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.