Southern California

Boys Rescued, Dad Cuffed After Standoff

Four young brothers who vanished along with their parents nearly a week ago were rescued in a dramatic hourlong standoff on a freeway overpass pitting police against their father.

Daniel Perez was taken into custody Thursday morning after emerging from the car with two of his sons, holding one's hand. He was tackled by officers after attempting to climb over the freeway railing.

He was shot with a nonlethal bean bag gun before he surrendered, according to CHP, when they became worried, based on his statements that he might try to throw one of the children or himself off the bridge.

The two other boys fled the car and ran toward officers soon after the car was stopped, just before 9 a.m.

He currently faces charges of child endangerment and parental abduction.

The officers had previously been negotiating with Perez on a cellphone after a pursuit began when the car's lojack system signaled a "hit" around 8:30 a.m.

The Perez family, including mother Erica Perez, was last seen Dec. 5, and an Amber Alert was issued for the boys after a woman was found dead in the trunk of the Montebello family's Honda Accord Wednesday night.

The remains were later identified as Erica Perez. Daniel Perez has not been charged in connection with her death, and the cause of death has not yet been released.

According to custody documents obtained by NBC4, the couple has a fifth son, a 14-year-old, who was not named in the Amber Alert.

The vehicle, driven by Perez, was first located in the El Cajon area by CHP officers. A pursuit was initiated along westbound I-8 near SR 67 and went north on SR 125 to eastbound SR 52 where the vehicle came to a stop on a transition road.

At least ten police cars surrounded the car before specialized SWAT armored Bearcat vehicles moved in. Several officers had guns drawn and pointed at the vehicle.

The four brothers, whose ages range from 6 to 11, and their parents had been missing since Dec. 5, officials with the Montebello Police Department said. The boys are named Jordan, Alex, Jaiden and Tristan Perez, according to police.

Family members made a tearful plea Wednesday night for the safe return of the missing brothers after a woman's body was found in the trunk of a car that belonged to the boys' parents. They did not identify her or reveal a cause of death.

Daniel and Erica Perez's marriage is unstable and has a history of domestic violence, their family told police.

Perez and the four boys were taken to CHP's El Cajon station. CHP officials said the boys will be taken back to Montebello, where the Department of Children and Family Services will determine where they will go - most likely to family.

Vikki Vargas and Samantha Tatro contributed to this report.

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