Posted: Nov 16, 2012 12:56 PM by MTN News
Robert Barnett of Canada was arrested in Whitefish on Friday morning after allegedly abducting his 3-year-old son in Fernie, British Columbia, on Thursday, triggering a state-wide Amber Alert.
The Montana Department of Justice says that Barnett crossed into the United States at the Port of Roosville near Eureka on Thursday afternoon.
According to Flathead County Undersheriff Dave Leib, Barnett approached a man at a bowling alley in Whitefish on Thursday evening and asked for money and to use the man's cell phone.
During their conversation, the man agreed to buy Barnett breakfast in the morning and also told him he could sleep in his car outside the man's house.
On Friday morning, when the man learned that Barnett was the subject of an Amber Alert, he called 911.
Barnett was arrested at about 6:45 a.m. without incident by officers from the Whitefish Police Department and the Flathead County Sheriff's Office.
The 3-year-old boy, Alvin, was found unharmed and taken into the custody of the Division of Family Services in Kalispell.
Undersheriff Leib said, "The Amber Alert program was designed to allow law enforcement to get the word out quickly to neighboring communities and to involve as many officers and citizens as possible in the search effort. That's exactly what happened in this case."
Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock said, "Thanks to the information that was broadcast by the Montana Department of Justice last night and an alert Whitefish resident, the suspect is in custody and the abducted child is now safe. The department would like to thank our Montana AMBER Alert Partners - the Montana Broadcasters Association, Montana Weather Service in Great Falls, the Montana Department of Transportation and the Montana Lottery - for their quick assistance in getting the word out."