Law enforcement officials scrambled early Wednesday morning after the mother of a 5-year-old boy reported that he had been kidnapped from her home in The Dalles by a known male.
The woman and the boy’s father had also allegedly been attacked with a hammer wielded by Brian Lester DePriest, 36, also of The Dalles, inside the residence in the 2000 block of West Ninth Street.
A statewide Amber Alert was issued shortly before 6 a.m. to locate the stolen car, a blue-green 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier, driven by the suspect. He had reportedly taken the car of a neighbor that was unoccupied but idling to defrost the windows.
Police tracked DePriest to an undisclosed location in Dufur and took him into custody without incident about two hours after the alert went out.
“There was a lot of gum shoe investigative work and calling people to find him,” said Capt. Ed Goodman. “The right people were called and he was located at the home of a family member but everyone was cooperative and he didn’t try to resist arrest.”
Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley said DePriest was lodged in the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities after being interviewed by Police Detective Sgt. Dan Nelson. He has been charged with three counts of first-degree assault, second degree kidnapping, menacing, contempt of court and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Nisley said the defendant faces between 10 and 25 years in prison if found guilty.
“I’m not sure exactly what it will be appropriate to charge him with yet — I tried to stay out of the way while the investigation was underway —but we will be considering burglary, assault and kidnapping,” he said.
Goodman said the mother and father of the boy were transported by ambulance to Mid-Columbia Medical Center after the attack. They were treated for injuries that were serious but not life-threatening. The victim family’s names are being withheld for their protection.
DePriest is allegedly the ex-boyfriend of the boy’s mother and court records show that she obtained a restraining order Sept. 26, 2012, that prohibited him from having contact with her family.
In that restraining order the mother stated, “He gets angry and has threatened to kill me and my kids and family; especially if I don’t allow him to have a relationship with the kids.”
The mother stated in court documents that DePreist, who was not the father of her children, had come to her residence in May 2012 and attempted to leave with her son after becoming angry. She said DePriest broke a window in the home during the confrontation and became irate when told by her current boyfriend to exit the premises.
According to court records, another woman sought a restraining order against DePriest in 2008. He was also charged with drug-related offenses in 2004 and 2008, both involving possession of methamphetamine.
The Dalles Police Department was assisted in the search for DePriest and the boy by the Wasco County Sheriff’s office, the Oregon State Police and Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Nelson at 541-296-2613.