MCKEES ROCKS (KDKA) — For school bus driver Rodney Copeland Sr., Friday was like a bad dream, one that he’d not soon forget.

He brought four of his young grand children to the McKees Rocks Police Station Friday evening, not long after his 28-year-old son, Rodney Copeland Jr dropped them off at his house.

The younger Copeland had gotten into a fight with the children’s mother, his on again, off again girlfriend in her SUV on Chartiers Avenue.

She jumped out of the vehicle, but Copeland took off with their children still inside.

Soon after that, McKees Rocks Police issued an amber alert for him, the four children and his estranged girlfriend Venice, a Ford Excursion.

The suspect’s father was at a McDonald’s getting food for the children when the amber alert went out. He told KDKA News

“I was real shocked when I heard the alert,” said Rodney Copeland Sr. “Like I said, my phone was buzzing when I heard it. I looked at my phone and I said, ‘what??’ I see my son and the kids (missing). I said, ‘we got to rectify this.’ He never kidnapped them, it was never a kidnapping.”

His former girlfriend’s sport utility vehicle was found in the 500 block of Forest Avenue, in Bellevue, but there was no sign of Copeland.

Neighbor Bryce Kohnen said he was out cleaning his car, when he got am amber alert on his phone and he saw the gold SUV nearby, so he called police.

Police say Copeland faces charges of assaulting his former girlfriend and endangering the welfare of children.

His father said Copeland and the children’s mother have had a long stormy relationship, explaining “they’ve had domestics before, they have domestics pending, but they always come back together. I always tell them they should go their separate ways before one of them or the kids get hurt.”

As of late Friday night, Copeland was not in custody.

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