THE DALLES, Ore. – A man kidnapped a young boy and set off an Amber Alert on Wednesday morning in The Dalles after attacking the boy’s parents, police said.
Officers found Brian L. Depriest, 36, and the child, Skylar Meldin Coulcer-Jarding, in the small town of Dufur, 15 miles south of The Dalles, said Capt. Ed Goodman of the Dalles Police Department.
Police said Depriest broke into a home early Wednesday morning and snatched the five-year-old boy. During the kidnapping, police said Depriest also assaulted the boy’s mother and father with a hammer.
The parents, Josh Jarding and Kathryn Riter, were injured in the attack. They were taken to a nearby hospital but were released by noon.
Police said Depriest is Riter’s ex-boyfriend and that she had a restraining order out against him.
After grabbing the boy, police said Depriest got into a stolen Chevy Cavalier and drove away with the boy in a stolen car.
"It was the car of a neighbor who was running it in the driveway to clear the windows of frost," Goodman said.
Detectives immediately started calling Depriest's relatives, many of whom live in Dufur, and one of them directed police to a family member's home, where Depriest was arrested without incident.
The Amber Alert was canceled around 8:30 a.m.
Neighbor Miranda Hendricks lives across the street from Riter and her family. She said she heard yelling and screaming in the morning but didn’t see anything when she looked.
“I’m actually really horrified by it, to be completely honest, it being right across the street from my house,” Hendricks said.
Kim Johnson knows Depriest and said his actions were out of character.
“Brian is not a bad guy,” she said. “He’s not violent, so I don’t understand.
Johnson said Depriest had played a role in raising Skylar, although lately there has been tension between Depriest and family, leading to the restraining order.
“He was distraught about not being able to see the kid,” Johnson said. “Something happened to get him riled up."
Depriest worked at Precision Lumber Co. in The Dalles for the past three years and was a "great employee," manager Matt McCall said.
"This has been quite a shock," he added. "It's a tough one for us."
KATU reporter Joe Raineri and the Associated Press contributed to this story