Police charge man from pursuit with wrecking house

Kyle Sunday

WOODSTOCK – A man accused of throwing his child into a creek while running from police last week now stands charged with destroying the house where he hid.

Kyle Steven Sunday remains held without bond at Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail on charges of child endangerment, attempted malicious wounding, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, eluding police, destruction of property and wanted as a fugitive from Maryland. Sunday is scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court on Sept. 24.

Police arrested Sunday on Aug. 13 after the man fled on foot with his child during a traffic stop in Strasburg around 5 p.m. Authorities accuse Sunday of tossing the child down a 15-foot embankment into a creek during the pursuit. An officer rescued the boy from the creek, and some time later law enforcement agents found Sunday hiding in the attic of a friend’s house in Madison Heights.

Strasburg police Officer Mala B. Bansal arrested Sunday, 28, of 2906 Martin Terrace, Haymarket, on Saturday on one felony count of destruction of property for intentionally destroying a home belonging to Terri Haynes on Aug. 13.

The criminal complaint filed with the new charge states that Bansal conducted a routine patrol in Strasburg at approximately 5:05 p.m. Aug. 13. Bansal saw a red vehicle in the area of North Massanutten Street and Thompson Street with a while male driver holding a child in his lap. The driver had stopped at a stop sign.

Bansal turned east on Thompson Street and made contact with the driver, window-to-window, the complaint states. Bansal asked the driver, later identified as Sunday, what he was doing. Sunday told the officer he was going to 7-Eleven. Bansal states she saw a car seat in the back seat of the vehicle. The officer told Sunday he needed to pull over. Sunday acknowledged that he needed to pull over. Bansal made a U-turn on Thompson and activated the vehicle emergency lights and siren. At the same time, Sunday accelerated his vehicle and Bansal heard tires squealing, the complaint states.

Sunday traveled at high speed toward the side road on North Massanutten Street. Bansal states she saw the driver turn left on Lincoln Street and continued to follow Sunday but lost sight of the vehicle. Bansal turned onto Stonewall Street and headed toward Thompson Street at which point a resident told the officer the vehicle turned on to Thompson and made an immediate right turn on Lee Street. Bansal found the vehicle in the driveway of a house in the 400 block of North Massanutten Street. Sunday stepped out of the vehicle with the child and Bansal gave a verbal order to stop. Sunday ran toward the road and took off on foot with the child. During the pursuit, Sunday threw the child down a 15-foot embankment into a creek. An officer broke off from the pursuit to rescue the child.

Bansal states in the complaint that she learned at approximately 8 p.m. that Sunday went into a residence at 450 E. Fairchild Drive. Officers went into the house after Sunday refused to come out and they discovered the suspect in the attic. At some point, a struggle ensued as officers tried to apprehend Sunday. Sunday and an officer fell through the ceiling to the floor below, police have said.

“Due to Sunday’s actions, damage occurred to the property at 450 E. Fairchild Drive,” the complaint states.

Bansal estimates the cost of the damage at approximately $3,000.

Bansal also searched a 1994 Toyota Celica driven by Sunday and seized an iPhone. Bansal sought the search warrant to look for electronic devices, weapons or drugs, including heroin. The officer executed the search warrant and filed the documents with the Circuit Court on Friday.

Bansal reiterates in the search warrant affidavit the attempted traffic stop, the subsequent pursuit of the Toyota and the foot pursuit of the defendant.  Bansal states in the affidavit that Sunday has prior convictions and was on probation for possession and distribution of heroin and cocaine at the time. Sunday also had several charges of driving on a suspended license.

“Sunday appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance,” Bansal adds in the affidavit. “Sunday was lethargic during transport and when appearing before the magistrate.”

Sunday had not been charged with any drug-related offense as of Tuesday.

The mother of the child and Sunday’s girlfriend, Kristi Ann Leitma, 27, also of Haymarket, remains in custody at the jail on charges of child endangerment, obstruction of justice and filing a false report to police related to Sunday’s arrest. Leitma is scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court on Thursday.