Dad charged with attempted murder after toddler found - FOX Carolina 21

Dad charged with attempted murder after Simpsonville toddler found safe

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Justin Perez  and his father Wbernel Perez (Courtesy: SLED & Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office)) Justin Perez and his father Wbernel Perez (Courtesy: SLED & Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office))

The Greenville County Sheriff's Office said they found 2-year-old Justin Santiago Perez after an Amber Alert was issued Sunday evening and have his father in custody.

Deputies said earlier Sunday night Justin was taken from Southeast Main Street in Simpsonville and that he was believed to be in danger. As of 8 p.m., investigators said the boy had been found safe and healthy.

Jonathan Smith, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said it all stemmed from a fight between Justin's mother and father earlier Sunday night. He said there was some kind of domestic violence that took place.

According to warrants, Wbernel Perez, 34, grabbed the victim around the neck and choked her, stabbed her in her hands and forced her to drive his friends to their homes and places of work against her will. The couple's 2-year-old child was present for the attack, warrants said.

Warrants said Perez told the victim, "You know I can kill you."

Smith said Perez took Justin's mother to Hillcrest Hospital with Justin, dropped the mother off, but then drove away with the toddler. He said the mother then told hospital authorities what happened between them and that Perez took off with her son.

It was later found out that Perez dropped Justin off at what they believe to be a babysitter's house in Taylors, said Smith. He said Justin is safe, but the sheriff's office had active warrants for Perez on domestic violence charges.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division originally sent out the Amber Alert that said Justin was last seen wearing red "Elmo" pajamas with a white "Guess" shirt.

According to warrants, Perez was arrested sometime on Monday on charges of attempted murder, criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, kidnapping, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and abandonment of a minor child.

There is no word yet from deputies how Perez was taken into custody or additional information about the charges he faces.

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