Dad arrested; Surprise girl is returned to custodial parent - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

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Dad arrested; Surprise girl is returned to custodial parent

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James Cotton does not have custody of his 13-year-old daughter. (Source: Surprise Police Department) James Cotton does not have custody of his 13-year-old daughter. (Source: Surprise Police Department)
SURPRISE, AZ (CBS5) -

A 13-year-old Surprise girl was returned to her mother Friday morning, but not until her father tried to elude police.

Na Leisha Cotton left her home shortly after midnight on New Year's Day with her father, James Edward Cotton, in her mother's stolen vehicle, said Surprise police Sgt. Bert Anzini.

The girl's mother, who is her legal guardian, called police about 5:30 a.m. Friday and said she had talked with Cotton on the phone and that he told her he was coming back to her residence, Anzini said.

Police were waiting at the home when Cotton arrived with his daughter, but the 34-year-old sped away with Na Leisha in the car, Anzini said.

Officers later saw Cotton walking with his daughter not far from the mother's home, and Cotton took off on foot. He was taken into custody a short time later, and Na Leisha was returned safely to her mother, Anzini said.

Cotton was arrested and booked into the Maricopa County Jail on charges of custodial interference, theft of means of transportation, an outstanding felony warrant and resisting arrest, Anzini said.

Police were called New Year's Day when Cotton did not return his daughter to the mother, who has sole custody of Na Leisha, Anzini said.

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