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Subject Of Amber Alert Found Safe

Updated: Sunday, August 10 2014, 09:27 AM CDT

A happy end to a scary Amber Alert that went out to cell phones across Central Texas Friday night.  A local man is jailed in Houston after attempting to kidnap his two-year-old daughter in Austin.

Austin Police Detective Brian Mellour says he spoke with the child's grandmother this morning adding, "She was very grateful that this had come to a resolution and her first priority was to receive the child, so she was making every arrangement to make that happen."

Jesse Thomas, 33, lost custody of his two year old daughter, Cheyenne Johnson, to his mother who already had guardianship of the child.  But when Thomas broke down the door to his mother's house to take the child, police knew catching him wouldn't be easy. Austin Police Detective J.J. Schmidt warned, "He clearly would do anything to get away and had nothing to lose."

I-35 is dangerous enough without someone weaving erratically trying to evade police.  That's why local police decided against chasing down Thomas and instead issued an Amber Alert.

Early Saturday the tips led authorities to Houston and more chases.  Det. Schmidt says, "We had 3 pursuits in the Houston area that we know of involving the suspect. Each one of those pursuits reached speeds of 100 miles per hour."

The final pursuit eventually ended in a Petco parking lot.  Hostage negotiators talked Thomas into surrendering the child, and then after a brief struggle Thomas was taken into custody.  He's being held in Houston facing charges associated with the chases their.  Here in Austin he'll be charged with burglary for breaking into his mother's house.  Because of the circumstances, the bond on that charge will be $50,000.

By Fred Cantu


Subject Of Amber Alert Found Safe


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