Dad accused of kidnapping 2-year-old daughter appears in court

The man accused of kidnapping his 2-year-old daughter, prompting an Amber Alert which ended with a SWAT standoff, appeared before a Harris County judge Monday.

Jesse William Thomas, 33, was arrested after the standoff Saturday morning in northwest Harris County. The more than two-hour standoff came to an end just moments after hostage negotiators convinced Thomas to surrender his daughter.

Law enforcement officials initially issued an Amber Alert Friday night, believing Cheyenne Infinity Johnson was in grave or immediate danger.

Austin Police said Thomas' mother had been awarded custody of the girl and Thomas kidnapped the child after he broke into his mother's home Friday afternoon.

The standoff began around 7 a.m. at Highway 249 and Spring Cypress Road. According to Trooper Stephen Woodard with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a trooper spotted Thomas at F.M. 1960 and Kuykendahl Road and a chase ensued.

The chase ended in the parking lot of the Tomball Crossings shopping center, where the trooper then tried to make contact with Thomas, who remained in his vehicle.

A team of officers and negotiators from the Sheriff Department's High Risk Operations Unit responded to the scene and began attempts to make contact with Thomas. Those negotiations ended just before 9:30 a.m.

After Thomas gave up the child, two deputies used a taser on him simultaneously while another fired a non-lethal beanbag-type munition in order to take him into custody.

Thomas was charged with endangering a child.

Cheyenne was returned to her grandparents.

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