Woman leads police on car chase with infant in the backseat, SC officials say

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A South Carolina woman was arrested on multiple charges Tuesday after she led law enforcement on a chase with an infant inside the car she was driving, the Irmo Police Department said.

Whitney C. James, a 34-year-old Irmo resident, was charged with failure to stop (second offense), driving under suspension, child endangerment, reckless driving and registration violation, police said in a news release.

At about 10 a.m., an officer tried to make a traffic stop on a vehicle because its license plate was registered to another vehicle, according to the release.

Information about where the failed traffic stop occurred was not available.

The driver, later identified as James, failed to stop for the officer’s blue lights and siren, initiating a pursuit, police said.

The officer terminated the chase after losing sight of the vehicle James was driving, according to the release. But a new pursuit was initiated and the traffic stop was made a short time later when other law enforcement officers spotted the vehicle in the area, police said.

Once the vehicle was stopped, officers discovered James had an infant in the backseat, according to the release.

There was no word if the baby was safely restrained, but no injuries were reported.

Information about why James initially refused to stop, or if she ultimately stopped without further incident, was not available.

James was booked into Richland County’s Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, police said. There was no word who took custody of the baby following James’ arrest.

No bond has been set for James, who remains behind bars, jail records show.

Since 2010, James has been arrested more than a dozen times, including several for traffic violations, according to Richland County court records. That includes a May 29, 2021 arrest on failure to stop for a blue light, habitual traffic offender and driving under suspension charges that are still pending, court records show.