Police: Domestic dispute led to stabbing, frantic citywide search for toddler

The 2½-year-old boy has been found and is safe, and Minneapolis police say they have arrested the suspect.

What began as a heated argument ended with a man stabbing the mother of his child and fleeing the scene with the toddler in tow, prompting a frantic citywide search that ended with his arrest Tuesday morning, Minneapolis police say.

Police said the victim was taken to the hospital with a stab wound to her leg. She is expected to survive.

Police later arrested 26-year-old Hershel Theo Hulbert, who allegedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend during a domestic situation on the 2000 block of 3rd Avenue S. near Franklin Avenue about 5:50 a.m.

According to officials, officers were called about 5:46 a.m. Tuesday to an apartment building in the 2000 block of 3rd Avenue S. on reports of a loud argument — over what is unclear — that started inside the apartment and later spilled onto the street.

Witnesses told police that Hulbert stabbed the woman in the leg, before taking the pair’s 2½-year old son and fleeing the scene in a silver 1999 Dodge Durango. The two had previously been in a relationship that ended, police said.

A police spokeswoman said that the victim was found at the scene, bleeding from a wound to her leg, and the father and son gone.

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension later issued an Amber Alert asking for the public’s help in locating the missing toddler, beaming the vehicle’s make and model to thousands of cellphones across the metro. The alert was also broadcast on the radio and on billboards.

The manhunt ended three hours later when investigators tracked Hulbert to a relative’s home, about one-and-a-half miles south of the apartment, according to police. The pair’s son was also found safe at the house.

A woman who answered the door Tuesday morning, identifying herself only as the child’s grandmother, said that the toddler was never in danger.

“He’s a good daddy and that’s all I’ve got to say,” the woman said. “He didn’t kidnap the baby: that’s his baby, too.”

Department spokeswoman Sgt. Catherine Michal credited the arrest to the quick-thinking of several 911 callers who witnessed the attack, as well as Hulbert’s “very cooperative family.”

“This was the very best possible outcome,” Michal told reporters at a morning news conference. “In moments like this, it is good to know that so many people are willing to participate” in helping find the missing child.”

Michal added that a second suspect, identified in the BCA alert as a man armed with a gun, had been located, but hadn’t been arrested.

By midday Tuesday, the police cruisers and crime-scene tape had vanished from outside the beige three-story apartment building, leaving no signs of the chaotic scene from earlier that morning.

Hulbert arrested on suspicion of second-degree domestic assault, a felony, but hadn’t been charged as of noon Tuesday.

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Child Found Following Amber Alert, Suspect In Custody

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 2-and-a-half-year-old boy who was allegedly kidnapped by his father has been found safe.

An Amber Alert was issued for that boy after his non-custodial father stabbed the boy’s mother in the leg and then fled, Minneapolis Police said.

Just before 6 a.m., officers received multiple 911 calls about a woman screaming in the street on the 2000 block of 3rd Avenue South. When they arrived, police found a woman with a stab wound to the leg, but didn’t find her son with her, 2-and-a-half-year-old Harlan Vontreal Hulbert.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension identified the father as 26-year-old Hershel Theo Hulbert of Minneapolis, who also uses the name “Herlsey.”

WCCO talked with the missing boy’s grandfather, Thorice Hulbert.

“My son caught his girlfriend with his cousin, and they tried to fight my son,” Thorice Hulbert said. “And my son, he went off and took his baby — you know he has a baby by her — and they came over here. The next think I know the police are coming.”

Police believed the woman’s ex-boyfriend and the father of the child took the young boy and fled. An Amber Alert was then issued.

One woman WCCO spoke with told us she heard the woman screaming in pain outside her window, saying she thought she was in labor from the way she was doubled over. She was yelling, “Help, I need my baby!”

He was found about three hours later near 32nd Street East and Clinton Avenue South, and is now back with his mother who is at HCMC being treated for non-life threatening injuries. He has been checked out by doctors there and is reportedly just fine.

Police credit the public’ quick response in helping find that child.

“This is a perfect ending,” Sgt. Catherine Michal said at a morning news conference. “The community came together.”

Shortly after the boy was found, Hershel Hulbert was apprehended and arrested on domestic assault charges, police said. He was taken to Minneapolis City Hall for questioning.

A second person believed involved in the incident was located. It’s unclear if they will be arrested.

AMBER Alert: Family doesn’t think Elizabeth Thomas left willingly

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – While more than 1,000 tips have poured in to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, an AMBER Alert remains in effect for Elizabeth Thomas and her former teacher Tad Cummins.

Authorities held a joint press conference Tuesday where they stressed the relationship between Thomas and Cummins was not a romance.

“Grooming, because that is exactly what was going on. You had a 50-year-old educated man who was obviously trying to convince this venerable 15-year-old girl that being in a relationship with him was the right thing to do,” said Cooper.

Thomas’ family attorney said he believes the 15-year-old may not have voluntarily gone along with Cummins when they went missing.

“We received one report that literally the day that she went missing, that she told they young girl who was taking her to Shoney’s to take me back home, that she was having second thoughts and that didn’t happen,” said Jason Whatley the family attorney.

One of Thomas’ siblings is also saying that in the days leading up to when she went missing she said she was scared of Cummins.

“She was manipulated into this position, and that is the best case scenario. Worst case is she didn’t want to go at all and she is taken,” explained Whatley.

New interviews conducted by investigators show that Thomas was confused and very scared before she went missing.

Those investigators also said Tuesday they learned Cummins lied about his life experiences to his students, saying he was a former FBI and CIA agent and had travelled the world.

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