Elyria man runs from police, leaving his toddler behind

Posted at 12:08 PM, Nov 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-05 12:08:28-04

A 2-year-old toddler was left stranded near an abandoned rental car after her father took off running with police in pursuit. 

Reginald Gray II was seen by police driving erratically on Gulf Road in Elyria on Thursday night, blowing through red lights and speeding before losing control and crashing into a grassy area on Olive Street. Officers followed in pursuit and said they saw Gray running from the borrowed 2016 Ford Focus, according to police reports. 

Officers say they chased Gray on foot until he was tackled while trying to jump a fence. Gray told officers the toddler left near the car was his daughter and he said he only ran from them "because he was high." 

When police searched Gray, they found about eight grams of cocaine in his right pocket and about $1,300 cash in his pockets and wallet. Police also found a scale for weighing drugs in the glove box of the car.

Gray was charged with resisting arrested, trafficking in drugs and possession of cocaine, according to police documents. 

Another man was with the toddler when police arrived on the scene. Authorities say Kenneth Oliver was standing outside the car with the 2-year-old. Police searched him and let him go on his way without being charged. 

Police say Timothy Stecz is the owner of the rental car and he let Stephanie Gray, the mother of the toddler, borrow the Ford Focus so she could get to work. Reginald Gray then borrowed the car from his partner Stephanie, according to police reports. Stecz told police he considered Reginald his "adoptive son" and had known him for years. 

Stecz called police later that day to ask if they had found a .40 caliber handgun in the car before it had been towed. Police told Stecz they had not, and he declined to report the gun stolen. 

Gray is being held at Lorain County Sheriff's Office until he posts bond or appears in court. Police say Child Protective Services was called to the station after Gray was arrested.