A Vermont man is in police custody after officials say he allegedly forced a woman and her child into their car outside of the Mall of New Hampshire, sexually assaulted the woman at a Vermont hotel, and fled, prompting a multi-state manhunt over the weekend.
Everett Simpson 41, of St. Johnsbury, was arrested in Upper Darby Township, Pa., and is expected to face federal charges “related to car theft, kidnapping, and sexual assault,” according to a news release from Vermont State Police.
Around 1 p.m. Saturday, officials say Simpson allegedly forced a woman and her child into their 2014 Kia Forte, registered in New Hampshire, outside the mall and drove to Vermont, according to the release.
“On reaching White River Junction, Simpson forced the woman to rent a room at a local hotel, where he proceeded to sexually assault the victim,” officials said. “The victim is a stranger who was targeted at random.”
Simpson left the hotel room around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and the woman and child contacted the police, according to the release.
“Investigation indicates Simpson left a substance-abuse rehabilitation facility in eastern Vermont and stole a car three days earlier,” officials said. “Simpson was at the facility under court-ordered conditions of release following his arrest in September for a vehicle theft, high-speed pursuit, and aggravated assault on a Vermont State Police trooper in Lyndonville.”
On Sunday, police in Prospect Park, Pa., which is near Philadelphia, were performing an unrelated traffic stop when a license-plate reader identified the Kia, police said. A chase followed until authorities found the Kia in a parking lot near an apartment complex.
Upper Darby Township police, also in Pennsylvania, began searching the area when they received a report of a stolen red Pontiac Vibe. Police found the vehicle and chased it until the Pontiac crashed into a telephone pole, Vermont officials said in the release.
Simpson was arrested and taken to a Pennsylvania hospital Sunday night. Simpson could be extradited to Vermont to face the charges; the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Burlington is coordinating prosecution.