Anxious minutes Wednesday night as a Carter Lake mother wondered how her two young children were. She learned Omaha police found them with her boyfriend and said he led officers on a high-speed chase.
On Thursday, Omaha police identified the suspected driver as 39-year-old Robert Anderson III. He will be arraigned on Friday on charges of felony flight to avoid arrest and two counts each of child abuse and neglect.
"He was watching them at my house," says Shelley Vincent, the mother of the children. "He was supposed to pick me up from work, and then were were supposed to come back here."
Her boyfriend, whom she has known for a decade, never picked her up and never came back home with the children.
The scene ended around 10:45 Wednesday night on the frontage road near the airport post office.
It didn't look good for the children. The white Oldsmobile had hit a tree and tore off part of the bumper.
The airbags fired and the driver ran. Then we heard this on the scanner.
Dispatcher: "The children are safe."
The boy and girl were OK. It wasn't long before family started to arrive.
Terry Vincent is their grandfather. "I was hoping the grand-kids were OK. He has the habit of not always buckling them in."
They were buckled in -- this time.
"Yeah…that's my daughter," said Terry Vincent and she ran towards the police cruiser where her children had been resting. She hugged her 7-year old daughter Torrie first. Grandma threw her arms around Spencer who is five.
"Last night I got to hold ‘em, and I felt like I never wanted to let ‘em go," said their mother Shelley Vincent.
Investigators say the driver was supposed to drop off his girlfriend's children two hours earlier, but he didn't.
She called police believing her son and daughter were in danger.
Omaha officers spotted him on 16th street near the Sienna Francis house. The children were in the backseat.
Investigators say he pulled over at first and then, just as quickly, sped away -- doing 80-miles-per-hour at times and running stop lights. They felt they had no choice but to chase and stop him because of the cargo.
"We're unsure what his intentions are with these children," says Omaha Police Sgt Chris Circo. "Something else could happen later."
The family doesn't know exactly what Anderson was doing. "He put my two little kids' lives in danger," she said.
Shelley does think he would have brought the kids back, but perhaps got caught up in some kind of trouble.
"My daughter told me she was scared," says Shelley. "She said she buckled herself in. She said that she just was shivering and she crunched down and was telling Robert to stop."
Omaha police say Anderson hit a tree, put the car in park near a swampy area and ran. Officers tackled him on the other side of the water.
Shelley Vincent tells Channel 6 News her relationship with Robert Anderson is over.
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