A pregnant Lithonia woman will remain behind bars after being accused of stealing a CBS news van — kidnapping a pregnant news reporter in the process — to try to get away from the scene of a crash.
Seniqua Lunsford, 38, was denied bond following her Tuesday morning arrest in Ansley Park, according to Fulton County jail records. She faces nine charges, including six felonies.
Her felony charges include aggravated assault, kidnapping, hijacking a motor vehicle, second-degree criminal damage to property, possession of amphetamine with intent to distribute and obstruction, jail records show.
It all started about 5:30 a.m. when the CBS 46 news crew was setting up to report on a crash near Atlantic Station, AJC.com previously reported. A Toyota Highlander wrecked into the gate of The Atlantic Condos on 17th Street, Atlanta police said.
A CBS 46 photographer was standing outside the news van while reporter Iyani Hughes was editing footage from the back of the van, police said. While officers were at the scene, Lunsford is accused of slipping into the driver’s seat and taking off.
“While the police officers got out to check on the wrecked vehicle, the driver of that vehicle got out of the vehicle — unbeknownst to the officers — walked over to the van that belonged to the news station, got in it and drove away,” Atlanta police spokesman Officer Steve Avery said.
Hughes tried to get Lunsford to stop and pull over, but she wouldn’t listen, police said. Avery said the reporter “did the smart thing” and got into a seat and put on her seat belt.
About a mile from where it had been stolen, the van wrecked along The Prado near Peachtree Circle, police said. Hughes was taken to a hospital but was not injured, while Lunsford was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital due to an arm injury suffered during the wreck in the van.
Officers also said they found 95 amphetamine pills in her possession during her arrest.
She was released from the hospital and booked into jail Thursday, where she remains Friday, according to jail records.
Zachary Hansen, a Georgia native, covers economic development and commercial real estate for the AJC. He's been with the newspaper since 2018 and enjoys diving into complex stories that affect people's lives.