Seattle's King 5 News is reporting that a nine-year-old girl who watched her dad rip off an AM/PM Tuesday morning in Thorp, Wash., was taken into protective custody by Fortuna Police last night. Her dad, Robert Daniel Webb, 42, is still on the loose. And here's the strange thing: Webb is apparently pals with the father-in-law of a Humboldt County sheriff's deputy.
According to the story, the un-named deputy's dad [sic] was asked to watch the little girl -- named Meadow -- while her gun-weilding pops "ran errands." Later in the evening, the deputy's father-in-law learned of Webb's indiscretions (the robbery, plus some drunk driving) and called his son-in-law and the Fortuna Police, who took Meadow into custody.
Sheriff's deputies say Webb sped off and managed to elude authorities after a high speed chase. The girl is OK and waiting for her mother to pick her up.
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brenda Godsey said it was indeed the father-in-law, not father, of an H.C. sheriff's deputy but would not elaborate further, saying the personal connection "doesn't seem relevant." She also could not identify the deputy in question. We have a call in to the Fortuna PD for more info. Stay tuned.
UPDATE : Looks like Garmire over at the T-S got a call-back first. Webb appears to have local roots, picking up a still-outstanding arrest warrant in Arcata for driving under the influence and disturbing the peace back in 2006. News reports say he hails from Everett, Wash. -- a depressing town if ever I've seen one -- and had recently lost his job in the eyeglass industry. No word yet on the sheriff's deputy connection.
The Associated Press has picked up the story, and King 5 News has updated its video. Their reporter intones, "Now police say Webb made a detour south, turning up last night in Fortuna, California , of all places." Of all places? He says it like Fortuna may as well be Shitstain, Missouri or something.
The story has even reached Melbourne, Australia , of all places.
Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for this Webb fella:
Webb is described as a white male, standing about 6-feet, 2-inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. He is driving a 2008 silver Toyota Corolla with a Washington license plate number 602XQG. Starcher said Webb is not believed to be armed at this time. [Times-Standard]