A home-invasion robber held a toddler at knife-point to coerce a woman who later used a MySpace photo to identify him, according to police.
The suspect, Pierre J. Davis, 21, appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Tuesday, more than four months after police say he held a knife to a 2-year-old boy’s throat while demanding debit card information from the boy’s mother.
Detectives used interviews and a search warrant for cell phone records to develop a case against Davis after the woman spotted his photo on MySpace. He was booked into jail on Monday. Court documents do not identify two additional suspects but said each was armed with a knife.
The Jan. 3 invasion at an apartment at 1718 E. Lincoln Road ended with one of the victims, Sylvetta Maynard, driving Davis to an ATM as he held her roommate’s son hostage in the car, according to papers prepared by Spokane police.
Earlier, police say, Davis held a knife to the boy’s throat and told his mother, Maria A. Espinosa, that he would “slit your son’s throat in front of you” if she didn’t supply her debit card’s access code.
The men bound Espinosa and another roommate, Jamie L. Farmer, with telephone cords and curling iron cords before Davis left in a car with Maynard and the boy, according to court documents.
Davis withdrew $600 then returned to the apartment, police said, where he and two accomplices left with cell phones and other valuables. A second $600 withdrawal was made the next day.
Espinoza told police she didn’t know the men but believed they may have known about her through her ex-boyfriend, 21-year-old Timothy L. Hight.
The robbers knew that Espinosa and her roommates, who are students at Eastern Washington University, had just returned from Chelan, Wash., and had financial aid checks worth $6,000. The only person who knew about their trip to Chelan was Hight, Espinosa said.
But Espinosa also told police that in December, Hight was at her apartment when a friend called and asked her to retrieve a yellow bag with $6,000 inside from a field near her apartment.
Espinosa told police she never found the money, which she suspected was drug proceeds, but that the men asked about the bag during the robbery.
Hight told police he didn’t know anything about the robbery, according to court documents. Espinosa helped police identify Davis after she spotted a photo of him on Hight’s MySpace page on Jan. 26. She identified Davis in a photo montage April 22; Maynard identified him on April 29. Police say they can’t locate Farmer.
The women suffered “extreme mental distress” because of Davis’ threats to the toddler, police said.
Davis is being held on $200,000 bond for multiple charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping. Davis is a convicted felon who served about four months in prison in 2007 for second-degree robbery. He was arrested on an attempted murder charge for a February 2008 shooting but pleaded guilty to riot.