DPS trooper speaks out after sparking arrest in Amber Alert

He's been on the job for five days, and he is already a hero.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Officer helped save a 12-year-old girl after she was allegedly kidnapped by her stepbrother.

An Amber Alert was issued Monday morning after the two were spotted at Munds Park, near Flagstaff.

The officer had only been on the road for less than a week, but he spent more than 30 weeks in the academy, that training paid off.

"She was pretty shaken up," said Officer Jesse Livingston.

Livingston recalled the moment when he discovered 12-year-old Cassidy Hayes safe. He was heading home alone in a patrol vehicle outside Page when he spotted the suspect's Tan Subaru.

"I was just close enough to read the license plate, the thought of getting into a pursuit was in my mind the whole time," said Livingston.

DPS requires extra training before a new officer can operate independently, so Livingston called his training officer, and they pulled the suspect over together, they treated it as a high-risk stop.

"I have done a couple of practice ones in the academy, but that was the first real one... it was a big adrenaline rush, it was day five, so I haven't really done a lot of stuff. It has been a very exciting five days," he said.

The suspect, 22-year-old Michael Malloch, the victim's step-brother, gave up willingly. He's accused of kidnapping the 12-year-old from Cathedral City, California. Police there feared the suspect was suicidal.

"Really the recipe for disaster to end tragically had it not been for a very alert state trooper out doing what we do in law enforcement," said Col. Frank Milstead.

It's not a bad start for the 24-year-old whose father recently retired from DPS.

"I was just doing my job. It's good to be able to help that little girl out, and be able to stop whatever was going to happen," said Livingston.

The suspects car was found a few miles south of the Arizona-Utah border. The suspect is now in a Coconino County Jail and will be extradited to California soon.

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