Mom’s Brake Line Cut Over Custody Fight, Police Say
A Fayetteville man and woman are behind bars after police say they intentionally cut a brake line to a car, putting a woman and her four-year-old daughter in danger.
Police said Dennis Ridgeway and Stacy Whetstine conspired to cut the car’s brake line, in exchange for a bottle of Vodka, because the alleged victim’s boyfriend was in a custody battle over a child with Whetstine.
Ridgeway, 24, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of endangering the welfare of a minor and criminal mischief. Whetstine faces the same charges, but only one count of aggravated assault, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Ridgeway remained Wednesday night in the Washington County Detention Center without bond. Whetstine’s bond has been set at $6,000.
The alleged victim told police she discovered her brakes were not working while backing out of her apartment parking spot, with her daughter in the car. She did not crash, and the car was taken in to an auto shop, which called police about the cut brake line, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.
The woman told police she believed her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend was to blame because Whetstine was involved in a custody battle with the boyfriend over their daughter. Police interviewed Whetstine, who admitted to enlisting the help of Ridgeway to cut the brake line because of jealousy, in exchange for a bottle of Vodka, according to the preliminary report.
Ridgeway told police Whetstine told him she wanted to hurt the alleged victim in the incident, while Whetstine told detectives she only wanted to inconvenience the woman, the report states.