Muskogee Police said they felt relieved when an Amber Alert ended with officers safely locating a two-year-old little girl and her mom in Arkansas.
Police said the entire chain of events started when Derek Perez attacked his manager at a McDonald's on Tuesday afternoon; police said the violence of that attack made for a very risky and dangerous Amber Alert situation.
Officers said it began as a heated fight between Perez and his manager but turned into a more than nine-hour search for the toddler and her mother.
Officers initially were looking for Derek Perez after they said he hit his manager over the head with a tray and stabbed him in the stomach, but things kicked up a notch a few hours later, when police got a phone call from Perez's sister.
"Her parents had seen the story on the news," Officer Lynn Hamlin said. "They feared that he was the one that stabbed the manager."
"The reason they thought that was because he's had some history of violence in the past, and has had altercations with his own father," she continued.
Perez's sister told officers her brother was holding his wife, Brenda, and their two-year-old daughter, Olivia, against their will.
"Brenda was crying when she was on the phone with her and told her they were in the car with him, they did not want to be in the car with him," Hamlin said.
That's when Muskogee Police put out a nationwide Amber Alert.
"Based on his behavior earlier in the day and the violence, there's the fear they're in danger, and the family confirmed that fear," Hamlin said.
Around 4 a.m. Wednesday, an FBI agent pinged Perez's phone near Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Ft. Smith Police tracked the family to the Rodeway Inn, where Perez was arrested.
"The daughter and the wife were both at the hotel and appeared to be okay," Hamlin said. "It was the best-case scenario for the ending."
Police said Perez will be brought back to Muskogee, where he could face charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.