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Boys rescued, father arrested after tense freeway standoff

EL CAJON, Calif. -- A tense freeway standoff ended Thursday morning when SWAT officers rushed a man suspected of killing his wife when he got out of his car with two of his young sons.

Daniel Diego Perez was swarmed by officers at 9:49 a.m. as he attempted to jump off an elevated freeway transition ramp. All four of Perez's sons were safe and in police custody.

El Cajon police first spotted the black 2014 Toyota Camry on Fletcher Parkway near East Main Street in El Cajon shortly after 8 a.m. after they were alerted by the LoJack system in the car. After a brief chase, the car stopped on the transition ramp from eastbound state Route 52 to southbound state Route 167 and was quickly surrounded by police and California Highway Patrol squad cars. A short time later, two boys got out of the car and walked back to the police line.

The standoff continued until around 9:50 a.m., when two armored SWAT vehicles pulled up to the front and the back of the Camry and officers in full tactical gear approached the car. Perez got out of the car with his two remaining sons and walked to the edge of the freeway ramp. As SWAT officers swarmed him, he appeared to try to jump, but officers quickly pinned him to the ground.

An Amber Alert was issued on Dec. 5 for Alex Hayden Perez, 6, Tristin Devin Perez, 8, Jaden Eric Perez, 9, and Jordan Dante Perez, 11, according to the California Highway Patrol. They were believed to have been taken by their biological father, Daniel Diego Perez, in a black 2014 Toyota Camry, California license plate No. 7FDS891, the CHP reported.

Police in Montebello, Calif.,  named Perez a person of interest in the disappearance of his 39-year-old wife, Erica.  Her body was found in the trunk of a car belonging to the family on Wednesday, Montebello police announced Thursday afternoon.

The Perez family was last seen Friday, police said, adding that extended family members described the couple's marriage as unstable and had a history of domestic violence.

In a Thursday afternoon news conference, officials from CHP, San Diego Sheriff's Department and El Cajon police said Perez remained the person of interest in his wife's disappearance. They also said all four children were "fine" and would be driven to Montebello and placed with the Department of Children Services.

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Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:04 AM

Two boys have gotten out of the car and are now in police custody. The father and two of the brothers remain in the car.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:06 AM

The black Camry is stopped on the transition ramp between eastbound state Route 52 and state Route 67 in El Cajon. Police have set spike strips in front of the car.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:11 AM

The first child is seen walking from the black Camry.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:15 AM

Police and media vehicles are staged behind the black Camry.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:16 AM

Just minutes ago, two small arms could be seen waving from the passenger window of the Camry.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:18 AM

Watch live streaming coverage of the standoff here: http://fox5sandiego.com/live-streaming/

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:22 AM

Police tell Fox 5 that all four boys were in the Camry with their father. Two boys came out of the car about 20 minutes ago. Two small arms were seen waving from the passenger window about five minutes ago.

Sandra Phillips December 11, 20149:26 AM
Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:28 AM

Police officers watch the Camry from an adjacent freeway ramp.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:33 AM

Police have shut down the transition from state Route 52 to southbound state Route 67. The westbound transition ramp from the 67 to state Route 52 is also closed during the standoff.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:35 AM

The boys are ages 6, 8, 9 and 11 years old. We don’t know which two boys are still in the car and which were allowed to leave.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:39 AM

The CHP says they are currently negotiating with the driver of the Camry via cell phone.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:39 AM

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:41 AM

The CHP is also talking with other family members to get information that could be helpful in the negotiations. They say they hope to convince the man to release his two sons and surrender peacefully.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:44 AM

According to the CHP, El Cajon police first spotted the Camry on Fletcher Parkway near East Main Street after receiving an alert from a LoJack system on the car.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:46 AM

A CHP officer told reporters that the father, Daniel Perez, may have been headed to Mexico, or he may have family members in El Cajon area.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:49 AM

Police have surrounded the Camry with armored SWAT vehicles.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:51 AM

Police have taken Perez into custody and the two remaining boys are safe.

Bob Ponting December 11, 20149:54 AM

The standoff ended when the father exited the car with both boys and went to the edge of the ramp. SWAT officers rushed the man as he attempted to jump off the ramp.

Sandra Phillips December 11, 201410:03 AM

Man attempts to jump from freeway as SWAT officers rush him.

Sandra Phillips December 11, 201410:23 AM

The two remaining boys were seen with two CHP officers following the capture of their father.


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