The 38-year-old Connecticut woman accused of snatching a 17-year-old girl off the street as she walked to school last week allegedly coaxed the victim into the car by saying "it's cold," then grabbed the victim's breast, at which point the victim dove out of the moving vehicle and tumbled onto the road, according to new details from a police report on the case.
Towanna Randall, a New Haven resident with 15 prior convictions, including four felonies, four crimes including burglary, larceny and selling drugs, appeared in court Tuesday on charged of sexual assault, unlawful restraint and reckless endangerment.
Randall did not enter a plea. Her public defender declined comment to NBC 4 New York. Bail was set at $125,000.
Police allege Randall grabbed the girl near the corner of Boston and Palisade avenues in Bridgeport around 7:15 a.m. Oct. 5. According to the police report, the victim was walking to school when the suspect drove up next to her and told her to get in the car because it was cold out. The victim originally declined the offer, but the suspect somehow convinced her to get in, the police report said.
Randall allegedly claimed she was only 18 years old, 20 years younger than she actually is, before fondling the girl. The girl then jumped from the moving car.
Police released video surveillance, which has aired on television news reports nationwide, that shows what appears to be a teenage girl open the door of a moving four-door sedan and tumble out.
It also shows the driver make a U-turn, double back on the opposite side of the road, then keep going. According to the police report Randall laughed at the victim on the road as she drove by.
Police tracked Randall down after several witnesses, including an ex-boyfriend, saw her vehicle in the surveillance video. The ex-boyfriend told authorities Randall is a regular PCP user. Randall claims she was not using the drug at the time of the attack.
She was arrested over the weekend in her hometown of New Haven. Police say she initially claimed her boyfriend, who was in the apartment where police found her, had abducted her, but then recanted. Police say she told investigators, "What's being said about me is not true."
According to the police report, Randall admitted she stopped to give the 17-year-old girl a ride. She said she noticed $2 or $3 missing from a cup holder and believed the teenager stole it. Randall claimed she grabbed the girl's hair and asked where the money was. That's when the teenager jumped out of the car, Randall told investigators, according to the police report.
"I grabbed her hair because I wanted my money back," Randall said, according to the police report. "That's just a normal reaction from anybody."
Randall's mother told investigators her daughter has "anger problems."
The teenager suffered bumps and bruises in her plunge from the car but was otherwise OK.