DENVER (KDVR) — Two-year-old Jaleel Jones was found safe when police recovered the car he was in, Denver police said. He was the only person in the running, stopped vehicle when police found it at Monaco and Exposition.
Jones’ parents said the toddler was sleeping in the backseat of the car while the engine was running when an unknown person got in and took off. Jones’ parents attempted to stop the suspect from stealing the car, but were unable to.
“We were screaming ‘my son is in there, my son is in there.’ I tried to jump on the hood,” said Marquis Jones, Jaleel’s dad.
Jones said he was parked next to the running vehicle where Jaleel was sleeping, keeping an eye on the car while Jaleel’s mom grabbed drinks inside the Walgreens.
“I’m glad he did end up stopping. Hopefully he came to his senses and did see there was a child in the car. I’m glad he did pull over and left him in the car,” said Jones
Jones says his son had a small scratch on his cheek when they found him, and seemed a little lethargic.
“As long as he’s good, that’s all I care about,” said Jones.
The suspect was described as bald, late 20s to 30s, wearing a gray shirt with a black hoodie and black shorts. An investigation has been launched to locate the suspect.
The car was left in front of the Red Carpet Car Wash, where employees noticed a man quickly walking away before they realized what was going on.
“I noticed a white or Hispanic individual walking at a fast pace,” said one worker. “About 15 minutes later police showed up with their guns drawn, and we all backed up.”
That worker, who asked us not to use his name, said that’s when they realized what was going on. He believes the car had been running there for 15-30 minutes before police showed up, and said the suspect left walking west.
“They surrounded the car, and next thing I know, they were pulling a little kid out,” he said. “It’s just awesome that they found the kid when they did, cause the kid could have been in a hot car, and died.”
An amber alert was issued around 4 p.m. for Jones who was in a black Kia when it was stolen in the 900 block of Quebec Street.
Several tips came in following the issue of the Amber Alert leading to the location of the vehicle, police said.