Court paperwork released Monday details the moments before and during an Amber Alert that happened Saturday.
The suspect, 39-year-old David Fuller, had agreed to meet the mother of his eight-year-old child in New Mexico. Fuller lived in Florida at the time, and the mother lived in California. They were driving through Arizona together when the Amber Alert happened.
Fuller had very little contact with the mother, and his daughter, before that trip. The two told police the purpose of the trip was to let Fuller spend some time with his biological daughter.
Fuller — who is being held behind bars at Durango Jail — agreed to an interview with ABC15.
"I was totally traumatized and mortified by the Amber Alert," Fuller said.
The three, along with another three-year-old girl that was not related to Fuller, spent the night in a car while in Arizona because the two did not have a place to stay. Fuller explained that the woman and girls have been experiencing financial problems and the mother would repeatedly contact him asking for money.
The suspect alleges that his daughter reached out to him in Florida because she no longer wanted to live out of a car. He learned that his ex had been begging for change and he worried that the state would eventually put the kids in the system.
"She called and asked for my help and said I need you to come rescue me from this situation," Fuller said.
While parked at the Circle K near Broadway Road and Mill Avenue Saturday morning, the two parents got into a fight and the mother told Fuller she needed a break. She went into the Circle K, and at that time Fuller got into the driver’s seat of the car and left with the children.
He explains it as a judgment call. According to Fuller, the children had soiled themselves and were hungry and he was taking them to a friend's house to get cleaned up. He also said the mother was aware.
Fuller later told police that he left because the mother didn’t have the means to take care of the children. He told police he intended to keep his biological daughter to raise on his own, and send the three-year-old to her biological father’s home.
"She would flip out and say, 'Take the children' and I would say 'How sure are you?" Fuller said about the woman.
Eventually Fuller was found at a home in Tempe, and after an hour of negotiating with police, he surrendered peacefully.
However, the suspect is denying that a barricade situation even took place. He said he was on the phone with authorities and the woman, trying to explain the situation.
"No one had to coax me out," Fuller said. "When I opened the door they were there and I was on the phone with the detective."
The car Fuller took from the mother belonged to a friend of the mother, and was reported stolen because he did not have permission to drive it.
He's now asking for a lie detector test to prove his innocence. He says he also wants to bring his daughter home with his and his fiance so that the young girl has a proper place to stay.
Both children were returned to the mother Saturday afternoon and were unharmed. A spokesperson with the Arizona Department of Child Services said they've implemented a safety plan, however, they couldn't elaborate further because the case is still open.
Fuller was arrested and charged with custodial interference and unlawful means of transportation.