Police were called to the unit block of North Port Street on January 29 to investigate a reported stolen vehicle. The owner of the vehicle told the responding officers that her 4-year-old and 19-month-old children were in the backseat of a vehicle that was stolen.
The woman said her niece was watching the children and vehicle, when a man entered the vehicle and drove off. Two people found the children uninjured near an alley over a half mile away.
Police obtained surveillance footage from a residence in the neighborhood that captured the initial moments of the crime. Video surveillance footage from a business also showed the suspect driving the stolen vehicle, according to a news release from the Office of the State’s Attorney.
The suspect was later identified as John Bowling.
“As a mother of two small children, I cannot imagine the terror this mother felt when this perpetrator drove away with her children,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I’m grateful for the police, and most importantly the community, for helping ensure the safety of these children, and I am happy we were able to attain justice for this mother.”
Bowling was convicted of two counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of false imprisonment and taking a motor vehicle with two children inside.