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North Texas man wanted after kidnapping mother and child, assaulting other

Posted at 4:26 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 18:10:13-05

The mother and child at the center of a possible Amber Alert have been safely located, according to Lufkin Police.

The suspect is still at large after kidnapping 47-year-old Brandi Michelle Davis and her 8-year-old son, Jordan Davis. Cruse also assaulted Davis' older son, leaving him in critical condition.

The Lufkin Police Department said the mother and child who were kidnapped are safe and unharmed after they drove to safety while 35-year-old James Earl Cruse stopped to get gas in the Dallas area.

The mother arrived at a DFW-area police department along with her son at 3 p.m. DFW-area law enforcement officers are actively looking for Cruse who is believed to be at large in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, said Lufkin police.

Cruse is described as a black male with black hair and brown eyes, with several tattoos, including drama masks on either side of his neck. Police said Cruse should be considered armed and dangerous.

The incident involving the family began around 6 a.m. according to police when Lufkin officers responded to the 400 block of Cousart Street to a report of shots fired. Officers arrived to find that the victim and suspect were no longer on the scene.

The victim, Davis’ 17-year-old son Caleb Blake, was injured by Cruse during a disturbance. Blake fled in a neighbor’s truck to a friend’s home and then later to a local hospital.

Cruse left with Davis and her son in a Buick Regal, according to witnesses.

"A short time later officers were notified that an assault victim identified as Blake had arrived at a local hospital saying he had been pistol-whipped," said Lufkin police. "He did not have a gunshot wound and appeared stable and ambulatory."

Police said hours after the assault, Blake’s status changed to critical and he has since been flown to another hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Further investigation led detectives to believe that Cruse had possibly taken Davis and her son against their will, as detectives, family members, and hospital staff were unsuccessful in reaching the mother.

"In a phone conversation with detectives, Davis confirmed that Cruse threatened them with the handgun used in the assault," said police.

Cruse, who has a lengthy criminal history, according to police, has charges including injury to a child, arson, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and evading arrest. He was sentenced to four years in prison for injury to a child in 2017 which expired in April, according to police.

This incident remains under investigation, police said they are asking that anyone who encounters Cruse contact law enforcement immediately.