Teen runaway found during traffic stop

NILES – Niles police arrested a Garrettsville man early Sunday morning after he was found with a runaway who had been missing since late May.

Police arrested David White, 58, of 8210 Park Ave., No. 2, Garrettsville, on charges of obstructing official business and interference with custody after a routine traffic stop revealed he was with Ashalee Ataman, a 13-year-old Garrettsville resident who had been missing since running away on May 25.

Officers were alerted to the possibility of suspicious activity when both White and Ataman appeared nervous in response to their line of questioning.

After removing Ataman from White’s vehicle, officers identified her through Garrettsville police as a registered runaway and that White had been questioned multiple times as a person of interest in her disappearance.

Lt. Greg Johnson of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday that Ataman had been returned to her parents.

“(Ataman) is back home and she was found in fine physical condition,” Johnson said. “There is still an ongoing investigation (as to why she left and her connection to White).”

White was booked into Trumbull County Jail and posted bond. He was arraigned in Niles Municipal Court on Monday and has a pre-trial date set for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 22.