Hearing set for Empire dad in kidnapping case

10/04/2012 12:13 AM

10/04/2012 12:15 AM

A pretrial hearing is set for an Empire man accused of child stealing and domestic violence after taking his children last week.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert after Phillip Tumilty allegedly took off with his 6-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son after an argument with their mother Friday morning.

According to Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy Royjindar Singh, Tumilty went to the home of his estranged wife Thursday evening. The two had an argument, which continued in the morning after they awoke.

The woman called authorities, while Tumilty said he would take the children to school. A deputy arrived, noted injuries the woman suffered, and took a report. She did not require medical attention, Singh said.

When Tumilty didn't return to the house, his ex-wife called the school and learned the children never arrived. A California Highway Patrol officer spotted Tumilty and the children in his truck on Highway 99 near Atwater on Friday afternoon.

Tumilty was taken into custody and remains jailed on $50,000 bail. The children were unharmed.

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