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Amber Alert leads to arrest in Denton

Profile image for By Lowell Brown / Staff Writer
By Lowell Brown / Staff Writer

Denton police late Thursday arrested a Lake Kiowa man accused of stabbing his wife and fleeing town with his 12-year-old son, ending an Amber Alert issued hours earlier. Michael L. Sanders

A tip led police to a hotel in the 1100 block of East University Drive, where they arrested Michael L. Sanders, 41, on a Cooke County warrant for family violence assault just before midnight, said Capt. Lenn Carter, a Denton police spokesman.

"Officers knocked at the door and [the] suspect answered and stated, 'I'm the one you're looking for,'" Carter said in an e-mail.

The boy, James Anthony Sanders, was taken to the Denton Police Department and picked up by his mother early Friday morning, according to police records.

Michael Sanders was in the Denton County jail on Thursday morning. He has declined all interview requests, Denton County sheriff's Sgt. Roger Griggs said.

No bail had been set.

Cooke County Sheriff Michael Compton issued the Amber Alert on Thursday afternoon, nearly a week after a June 17 incident in which police say Michael Sanders stabbed his wife during an argument and disappeared with his son. The woman survived the stabbing and was released from hospital care, Compton said.

Compton defended his decision not to issue an Amber Alert sooner.

"There are two requirements: The child has to be in danger and there has to be an abduction," Compton said Friday morning. "Our initial information from the mother was that the child was not in danger. It didn't meet the criteria, and there was not an abduction because he's the father."

Compton said he changed his mind about the alert Thursday after the boy's family started expressing concerns about his welfare. Still, Sanders won't face an abduction charge, he said.

Denton police said Sanders had registered at the hotel four days earlier.

Other reports

1400 block of Burnett Drive, Lantana - A man reported that a company he hired to move his belongings from Michigan has yet to deliver them. The man said a worker loaded up nine boxes and three flat-screen televisions from his former home May 29, but the items haven't arrived in Lantana, according to a Denton County sheriff's report. He valued the items at $8,000.


From 7 a.m. Thursday to 7 a.m. Friday:

* Denton police handled 257 service and officer-initiated calls, including five thefts, four building burglaries, three criminal mischief cases, two assaults, two vehicle burglaries, two credit card abuse cases, one forgery, one welfare concern, one robbery and one stop sign runner.

* Denton County sheriff's dispatchers handled 611 service and officer-initiated calls for the agencies they serve. Fifty-four people were booked into county jail. Deputies took reports of two thefts.

* Denton firefighters responded to 24 medical calls, two vehicle accidents, two smoke investigations, one request to assist a citizen, one building fire, one request for public service, one lock-in, one false alarm, one report of arcing/shorted electrical equipment, one vehicle fire, one cooking fire and one alarm.

Argyle firefighters responded to two medical calls, one illegal burn, one structure fire, one vehicle fire and one suicide attempt.

Aubrey firefighters responded to two medical calls.

Lake Cities firefighters responded to two medical calls, two traffic transports, one domestic disturbance and one request to unlock a vehicle.

Oak Point firefighters responded to one request to assist a citizen.

Ponder firefighters responded to one report of downed power lines.

Pilot Point firefighters responded to one medical call.

Sanger firefighters responded to four medical calls and one grass fire.

LOWELL BROWN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is

Denton County Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in these or other crimes. Callers will remain anonymous. Call 1-800-388-TIPS (8477). Reach the Denton police narcotics tip line at 940-565-5801.