Early this afternoon, Friday, March 23, local resident Terry Candler identified a vehicle described in an Amber Alert parked near the American Legion. The alert had been issued shortly after 10:37 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 after San Jacinto police responded to the reported abduction of five-year-old Domenic Smith by his father, Anthony Smith-Dixon, 25, from the residence of a child care provider. Smith-Dixon did not have custodial rights to the child. In addition, the child’s mother had obtained a separate restraining order against Smith-Dixon.
Candler had been eating lunch around 1 p.m. at his Idyllwild residence when he saw the alert broadcast on television. On his way to the American Legion on Marian View Drive, Candler spotted a car that matched the description of the Amber Alert vehicle.
The car was described as a 2000 model gold Saturn having a missing or damaged driver’s side door panel. “I had noticed the car earlier as I made my rounds [Candler hauls trash] but didn’t make the connection until I saw the alert,” said Candler. “There had been a black guy hanging around the car. But I did not see the kid. The car had been sitting there all morning.”
Candler called the authorities from the Legion to report the vehicle.
“I was just concerned about the kid,” said Candler. “When I saw the car, I thought, let’s just get this thing." .
A California Highway Patrol officer pulled Dixon-Smith over near Idyllwild about 2:40 p.m. The child was unharmed according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Angel Ramos who took the report.
The Amber Alert is now lifted.
Five-year-old Domenic is safe.
And local Terry Candler’s alertness and action helped return the boy safe and unharmed to his mother.