Police said he had left the children alone and, when their mother called to ask why, he reportedly told her he'd raped one of them.

An 18-year-old babysitter is accused of raping a 5-year-old girl before leading police on an 8-mile car chase while shooting at them just after 12 a.m. Monday.

Sage Smerk had been left to babysit the girl and her 2-year-old brother, but when the children's mother returned home from work around 11 p.m. Sunday and discovered the children had been left alone for two hours, she called Smerk to ask why, Inspector William Holland of the Summit County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

Holland said Smerk told her that he'd sexually assaulted the older child.

She called the sheriff's office, and they went to find him.

Deputies found his vehicle just after 12 a.m. on Mayfair Road in the Green area.

When they tried to pull him over, he sped away, heading south toward North Canton, Holland said.

He sped through several intersections and, at one point, pulled out an air pistol and began firing at deputies as he drove, Holland said. They were not struck.

Smerk headed south on Mayfair, turning east onto Portage Street NW and then onto Maple Street, Holland said.

Holland said they were able to stop him "without incident" in the 200 block of Maple Street, noting that the chase had lasted about 8 miles.

Smerk was arrested on charges of rape and felony failure to obey a police officer, but more charges are pending, Holland said.

The child was taken to Akron Children's Hospital to be treated and then released.

Reach The Canton Repository at 330-580-8300 or newsroom@cantonrep.com.