AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 4-year-old Round Rock boy, who was the subject of an Amber Alert, was found safe on Monday night.
Joshua Christopher Crowley, the boy’s father, was arrested in Harris County, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Fugitive Task Force found Joshua in a shopping center where he was arrested without incident, according to the U.S. Marshals office.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police are looking for a 4-year-old Round Rock boy they believe is in immediate danger. Police say the boy is with his father, who is wanted for a drive-by shooting that took place about 70 miles east of Austin in Burton, Texas.
Police issued an Amber Alert early Monday morning.
Police are looking for the boy’s father, Joshua Crowley, 36, in connection with the case. Crowley is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen wearing a red bandana on his neck and a black baggy T-shirt. Crowley is considered armed and dangerous.
APD tells KXAN that the boy and his parents are from Round Rock. Initially police said they were from the Austin area and later clarified that.
Crowley is driving a black 2011 Mazda3. His license plate is 737763C.
The missing boy nicknamed ‘Spider-Man’
The boy’s mom, Daniela Crowley, spoke to KXAN on Monday. She said her son’s nickname is Spider-Man because of how much he loved the Marvel superhero. He often did the Spider-Man “web shooter” pose, including in two of the photos that his mom provided. One of those was taken on Picture Day at his pre-school. He was also last seen wearing a Spider-Man sweatshirt.
“I had left my son with my ex-husband to watch him and they both disappeared. At some point, [Joshua Crowley] blocked me and stopped communicating with me and I haven’t heard or seen my son since Saturday afternoon,” Crowley said. “I just hope that my son is okay. I know, I have faith, that he is going to be fine and he is going to be back home.”
Crowley spent much of the morning on the phone with both investigators and family members. She was sharing all of the details that she has, which she admits, is not much. Her level of concern grew as news broke that Joshua Crowley was involved in a drive-by shooting, a detail that wasn’t immediately shared with her by authorities.
Despite the new information, Crowley said she does not think that Joshua will hurt her son. She believes he is not violent when it comes to his son’s safety.
“My family thinks there is no way that he would hurt him. But we don’t know what is going on,” Crowley said.
What happened in Burton that triggered the Amber Alert
Joshua Crowley fired multiple shots from his moving car at several people near a Burton business, according to Washington County Sheriff Otto Hanak.
A 38-year-old man was shot multiple times and airlifted to a Bryan hospital with serious injuries.
A Washington County patrol deputy actually stopped Crowley in his Mazda3 earlier in the day on U.S. Highway 290 after a complaint from another driver.
The dashcam and bodycam footage from that deputy captured these images of Crowley and his car:
Sheriff Hanak says Joshua Crowley later parked his car behind the spot where the shooting took place, according to witnesses.
Hanak says the Amber Alert came as a result of a missing person’s investigation that the Austin Police Department initiated for Wyatt Crowley.
An arrest warrant has since been issued for Joshua Crowley charging him with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Should you see Crowley or his car, don’t approach them. Call 911.
Why the the U.S. Marshals office was involved
“With type work that we do day in and day out locating fugitives, it’s the same with trying to locate a child, that may be in danger,” says Brandon Filla, Deputy U.S. Marshal in Austin.
In the case of Wyatt Crowley, investigators believed they were dealing with both, believing the boy was with his father, Josh, who was wanted for a drive-by shooting.
“So with that totality of those circumstances, elevated everything, and that’s why you’re getting, you know, this type of request for assistance from multiple agencies involved,” says Filla.
Part of that authority wasn’t granted to his office until The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, which allowed the U.S. Marshals Service to help find missing, endangered, or abducted children regardless of whether a fugitive or sex offender was involved.
Filla says once Austin police issued an Amber Alert for Wyatt, the department and the Texas Rangers requested help from his team– the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.
“We have that type of communication with agencies nationwide, where we can expedite things and get, you know, individuals out there on the ground if we believe, you know, maybe he’s left the state or maybe he’s left the city,” Filla says.
That’s how they ended up locating Joshua Wyatt at a Subway restaurant in Houston– members of the Austin-based task force requested help from their counterparts.
“I know he was very surprised because he didn’t see us come in and he was sitting there eating dinner with his son so.. it went very smoothly,” said Cameron Welch, Deputy U.S. Marshal with the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Fugitive Task Force.
Since 2015, the agency says it has recovered nearly 2,000 missing children.