Daniel Wheeler stands by everything that happened Tuesday.
Even though the way he took his son from a Pasco County daycare led to a Amber Alert.
“I was actually told by the officer that I probably should have contacted them before I’d done it. Which I had done, but apparently I needed to talk with a different officer, because that officer told me, he didn’t know why I was contacting them to begin with,” said Wheeler.
Witnesses told ABC Action News, Wheeler grabbed the boy from his mother’s arms Tuesday morning.
ORIGINAL STORY | Amber Alert issued for 2-year-old boy from Pasco
It happened shortly after a judge denied him emergency custody of the boy.
“I sat with my kid, something I haven’t been able to do in a very long time. Something she hasn’t allowed me to do,” said Wheeler.
The Pasco Sheriff’s office said they based the Amber Alert on the facts they had at the time.
“The father basically ceased contact with us. Intentionally. So, when he did that and then learning some of the new information that we did that he was on felony probation, seeing his background and the manner in which he took the child, that elevated things to the point where we said, 'We have a concern. We need to ramp this up,” said Pasco Sheriff’s Office Captain Eric Seltzer.
The child was with his father for almost 12 hours before he was finally found safe with him in Orlando.
“At the end we did recover him safety and that’s the goal of the Amber Alert to recover the missing kid,” said Seltzer.
It will likely be up to the courts to figure out custody rights for the child.
“We’ve taken it to court. I’ve had the judge side with me, She’s had the judge side with her. It’s been back and forth,” said Wheeler.
For now, he’s back with his mother, who didn’t want to be interviewed.
His father is returning home to Tennessee.