Police: Drunken woman illegally brought Baltimore teen to York County

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Latima Renea Backus

A Manchester Township woman took her friend's teenage daughter from the girl's Baltimore home to York County without permission and was drinking vodka during the entire trip, according to police allegations.

The teen later told officers that Latima Renea Backus punched her in the face after the teen tried to get out of the woman's car and was arguing with her, police said. The teen also said that Backus wanted the teen to braid her hair because it was her birthday.

Backus, of the 900 block of Redbud Court, turned 33 years old on May 8, the day Northern York County Regional Police said she took the girl.

She also drove the girl's 18-year-old friend to York County as well, even though the young woman said she didn't want to go, charging documents state.

Backus remains in York County Prison on $250,000 bail, charged with the third-degree felonies of concealment of the whereabouts of a child and interference with the custody of a child; the misdemeanors of child endangerment, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct; and the summary offenses of public drunkenness and harassment.

Defense attorney Bill Graff told The York Dispatch on Thursday that there are two sides to every story.

The allegations: According to charging documents, the mother of the 15-year-old, who was friends with Backus, made it clear that Backus was not allowed to take the teen to Pennsylvania.

The teen said when she and her friend got into Backus' car in Baltimore the night of May 8, she assumed Backus was going to drive them somewhere in the area where the teen could do the hair-braiding, documents state.

The 18-year-old told officers she and her friend told Backus they didn't want to go to Pennsylvania, police said.

Once the 15-year-old realized they were in Pennsylvania, she tried to unlock the car door and kicked at the door to get out, but couldn't, and told officers that Backus punched her in the face as the two argued in the car, documents allege.

Backus was driving fast and recklessly, the 18-year-old told officers, adding she was scared by the woman's driving, documents state.

Backus was drinking from a bottle of peach vodka during the entire drive, which ended near her home on Redbud Court about 6 p.m., when Backus let the girls out in an area the girls described as having a lot of stores, police allege.

The teen told police she and her friend walked to Backus' home, where the 15-year-old told Backus to take them back to Baltimore, but Backus would not, according to charging documents.

Neighbor hides girls: The two teens then went to the nearby home of another woman who is friends with the 15-year-old's mother, who called the mother and told her what was going on.

The neighbor also called 911 to say she had the missing girls, police said, and closed her blinds so Backus wouldn't see the girls inside.

Around the same time, someone else called 911 to report a woman had been screaming in the street for 10 minutes, according to police, who said they later determined an intoxicated Backus was yelling for the girls.

When officers got to Backus' home, she started screaming about "police being at her house again," and was highly intoxicated and making no sense, charging documents allege.

At one point as officers asked her questions, Backus "was looking at a light pole talking to it and had to be reminded that (the officer) ... was not the light pole," documents state.

When officers started to arrest her, Backus resisted arrest, struggled with officers, tried to kick them and grabbed one of their wrists, charging documents allege.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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