UPPER DARBY — A Vermont man who led law enforcement on a multi-state manhunt in connection with kidnapping and sexual crimes was arrested Sunday night in Morton after taking local police forces on a chase throughout a number of neighborhoods.
Everett Simpson, 41, was arrested by police after the car he stole from an Upper Darby apartment complex crashed into a utility pole in the first block of Highland Avenue in Moron during a high speed chase with authorities that went through Prospect Park, Upper Darby, Morton and other communities. His apprehension by police came over 24 hours after he allegedly kidnapped a woman and her child in New Hampshire, drove them to Vermont and sexually assaulted the woman.
Simpson was officially charged in the U.S. District Court of Vermont Monday afternoon on one charge of knowingly and willfully kidnapping and transporting victim in interstate commerce and holding them for various purposes.
He was also preliminarily arraigned Monday by Magisterial Judge Harry Karapalides on 15 charges filed by Upper Darby police for his Sunday police chase including felony counts of robbery of motor vehicle, receiving stolen property and fleeing or attempting to elude an officer and a number of other related charges.
According to the federal affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Jennie Emmons, around 12:45 p.m. on Jan. 5 a woman was getting into her silver 2014 KIA Forte with her 5-year-old son at a mall parking lot in Manchester, N.H., when she, “was elbowed by a male and pushed into the passenger seat of her vehicle.” The male then drove off with them in the car.
During the drive the male, later identified by Manchester Police Department as Simpson, allegedly pulled her pants down and tried to sexually assault her. A number of emergency phone calls were received that “indicated that a young female with long, brown hair was screaming for help and trying to get out of the passenger side of the vehicle while the car was moving.”
“The calls also indicated that it appeared that the male driver was attempting to hold the female down,” read the affidavit.
They eventually pulled into a Comfort Inn Hotel in White River Junction, Vermont at the woman’s insistence “for her safety.” She was afraid “he would kill both her and her son and leave them” if he assaulted her on the side of the road “and because at least most hotels had cameras.”
She paid for the room with her credit card and then Simpson allegedly raped her in the room in front of her son.
Simpson left the hotel room in the woman’s KIA Forte around 5 p.m. and “he told her to not leave the room or contact the police” and if she did contact the police he would “find her and kill her.” The woman would eventually leave the room after waiting 20 minutes to be sure he was gone. She went to the hotel front desk and told the clerk she was taken against her will.
The boy was not reported to be physically injured during the ordeal.
A warrant was issued for Simpson’s arrest by Hartford (Vt.) Police Department on Sunday with a federal warrant also filed.
FBI from Vermont and New Hampshire offices and Vermont State Police were some of the agencies looking for Simpson leading up to his discovery in Prospect Park Sunday afternoon.
In an affidavit filed by Upper Darby Detective Christopher Karr, Prospect Park police officers James Mansfield and Kyle Gross were on patrol in the 1200 block of Lincoln Avenue when an automatic license plate reader on Mansfield’s patrol car got a hit for a stolen 2014 KIA Forte with New Hampshire plates that was traveling north on that street.
Gross turned on his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop in the areas of Kedron and Franklin Avenues when the KIA driver, reportedly Simpson, fled at a high rate of speed along Franklin Avenue. Simpson would elude police through Ridley Township, Morton and Springfield before reaching stopped traffic at the intersection of Providence Road and North Avenue. He allegedly hit two cars while trying to go around traffic to make his way up North Avenue. He turned into a parking lot behind a mattress store on Baltimore Pike at which point Gross lost sight of the vehicle and a police perimeter was established. The vehicle was later found in a parking lot at the Laurel Manor Apartments in the first block of North Avenue in the Secane section of Upper Darby.
Simpson ditched the vehicle while wearing a red/orange short sleeve shirt and brown baseball cap.
According to Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, someone called 911 saying a man was trying to enter the sewage culverts by the Primos-Secane Swim Club. Police arrived at the scene with K-9 units to sniff him out to no avail.
Sometime later, a call was received about a stolen red Pontiac Vibe from the Bishop Hill Apartments on South Bishop Avenue not far from the culverts.
A resident of the apartment complex was reportedly bringing in groceries to her building when she came out to see that her vehicle was being driven in reverse at a high rate of speed, says the affidavit. The car was reportedly left running with the woman’s purse and cell phone in the vehicle.
“He could have done anything to her,” said Chitwood Monday afternoon given the violent sexual attacks he had allegedly committed the day prior. “The woman is so lucky that he was a trapped rat and that’s all he wanted to do was get away.”
Police were able to ping the cell phone and locate Simpson’s whereabouts getting a notification that he was in the area of South and Armstrong avenues in Ridley Township at 5:54 p.m. At 5:55, Ridley Police Sgt. James Gieder saw the Pontiac Vibe in the parking lot of the Our Lady of Fatima Church with a lone male occupant in the driver’s seat. As he approached, Simpson took off at a high rate of speed up South Avenue toward the direction of waiting Upper Darby officers stationed at South Avenue and Providence Road.
Karr wrote in his affidavit that he saw the vehicle going at a high rate of speed coming close to hitting his police car, other drivers, and almost crashing on the SEPTA train tracks at South and Providence.
Simpson sped across Providence Road toward Baltimore Pike before crashing into a utility police on Highland Avenue in Morton.
Karr, Geider, Upper Darby Detective Sgt. Philip Lydon and a slew of other responding officers approached the crashed vehicle shouting verbal commands to the operator, Simpson, who would not respond. Simpson kicked open the driver’s side door to flee, but did not exit the vehicle.
Simpson was eventually Tazed by officers, bringing him under control and initiating his arrest.
He was transported to Crozer-Chester Medical Center for evaluation.
“It was tremendous inner-communication between the 911 communications center and all of the responding officers,” said Chitwood about Simpson’s arrest. He said the assistance by neighboring police departments were too many to name.
Vermont State Police spokesman Adam Silverman commended all of the law enforcement agencies involved in capturing Simpson.
“Through all of the various local and federal partners across at least three states, numerous jurisdictions and crimes that occurred while he was on the run, we are very thankful that this case could be brought to a safe resolution as it was without further harm to the public,” he said Monday afternoon.
Chitwood and Silverman could not confirm that Simpson was spotted in Delaware County due to a connection with someone down here. Chitwood said that Simpson has no prior dealings with area law enforcement agencies before Sunday.
Simpson was not a new face to law enforcement up in Vermont having previous charges filed against him in a number of counties for cruelty to a child, false information to an officer, and other vehicle offenses according to the FBI’s affidavit.
He was arrested in September for vehicle theft, high-speed pursuit and aggravated assault on a Vermont State Trooper, according to Vermont State Police. He was court-ordered to enter a substance abuse rehabilitation facility and did so on Jan. 2 before he left the place and stole a car.
“It’s our understanding that he had just reported (to the facility) when he left the premises. He could have been there a very short time, less than a day, maybe even less than an hour,” said Silverman, who could not confirm if it was an outpatient or admitted treatment facility.
Three days later he allegedly initiated his multi-state crime spree.
Simpson was still at Crozer as of Monday evening, but will be remanded to the George W. Hill Correctional Facility for failing to post $1 million cash bail upon hospital discharge. He still faces extradition to Vermont to answer to the federal kidnapping charge.
Filing of state charges in Vermont had not yet been confirmed by Silverman on Monday.
“There are a lot of different aspects in this investigation,” said Silverman. “Hartford (Police) and state police are still investigating the sexual assault.”
A message left with Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano to inquire about their investigation and filing of New Hampshire state charges for kidnapping went unanswered.