An Amber Alert issued Friday for a Vernon Township toddler ended with the alert cancelled, the 2-year-old safe and the child’s father in police custody.
Dawsyn Marie Wright and her father, Travis Allen Wright, were located at an Erie home shortly after 3 p.m., according to Chief Randy Detzel of the Vernon Township Police Department. Travis Wright was taken into custody without incident, according to Detzel.
“The little girl was absolutely fine and is back with her mom,” Detzel said after transporting Travis Wright to the Crawford County jail. Family members traveled to Erie to take Dawsyn home, according to Detzel.
Detzel thanked members of the public and media coverage for tips that helped lead to Wright’s apprehension.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said of the outcome of a situation that appeared to have had its origins following a round of trick-or-treating Thursday evening before escalating Friday morning.
Detzel said Wright was expected to be arraigned Friday evening before Magisterial District Judge Amy Nicols on charges resulting from the Thursday incident.
Further investigation will be needed to determine whether Wright will face any charges related to the Amber Alert issued Friday, according to Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz. With no child custody order against Wright, he was within his rights as a parent, according to Schultz.
"There's nothing that indicates he can't be with his child," Schultz said.
On Oct. 17, Alexandra E. Werley, Dawsyn’s mother, was granted a temporary protection from abuse order against Wright by Crawford County Court of Common Pleas with a hearing scheduled Thursday.
Werley filed a motion with the court on Wednesday to dismiss the PFA. When Werley failed to appear at the hearing on Thursday, the temporary PFA was dismissed by President Judge Anthony Vardaro.
“But,” Schultz added when asked if any additional criminal charges may be filed against Wright, "it's the circumstances in which he took her and the fact that there's a warrant out for his arrest."
According to Detzel, Wright took his daughter without Werley’s permission, driving off in Werley’s pickup truck against Werley’s wishes and without the proper child safety restraints.
Werley offered a vivid recounting of the circumstances of the alleged abduction in a brief exclusive interview with a Tribune reporter at her home. The incident at the Turner Road home occurred at about 9 a.m. Friday, according to Werley.
"He came over here, got super violent and took my child," she said.
"He punched me in the face," a visibly pregnant Werley said while pointing to her chin. "He doesn't live here now. He lives with his girlfriend."
Wright had been at the Turner Road home the previous evening as well, according to the criminal complaint filed against him by Vernon Township Police Department.
Werley told Vernon officers that Wright had come to her Turner Road home to go trick-or-treating with Werley and their children, according to the criminal complaint.
At about 8 p.m., after trick-or-treating, Wright became verbally abusive and argumentative toward Werley and refused to leave when she told him several times, according to the criminal complaint.
Werley told police that Wright followed her and the children in the house and again refused to leave. When Werley threatened to call the police and held the door open for Wright to leave, Wright allegedly shoved her with both hands, sending her to the concrete landing outside where she hit the back of her head, according to the criminal complaint.
Werley, who told police she is seven months pregnant, was dazed by the fall and remained on the ground as Wright yelled at her, “I hope you and the baby die!” according to the criminal complaint. Wright then took Werley’s cellphone, leaving her unable to call for medical or police assistance.
Wright then left the home and took Werley’s red Chevy pickup at approximately 9:50 p.m., according to the criminal complaint. The Amber Alert on Friday referenced the same vehicle.
Wright faces a first degree felony charge of aggravated assault, second degree misdemeanor charges of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, theft by unlawful taking and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle as well as summary charges of harassment and criminal trespass in connection with the Thursday incident.