A 29-year-old man charged with kidnapping his 23-month-old daughter from her mother’s home in the Echo Park community of Los Angeles pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Leonardo Rosales was charged Tuesday with one count each of kidnapping and child stealing as well as an allegation that he used a knife during the crimes. The toddler was safely recovered.

Rosales is being held on $750,000 bail and was ordered to return to court Jan. 11, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing.

Catalina Reyes Canino was seen with her father, Rosales, at about 10:45 p.m. Dec. 23 in the area of South Reno Street and Beverly Boulevard, near the Echo Park community, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Officers responding to a radio call of a “kidnap in progress” in the 100 block of South Reno Street were met by the girl’s mother, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

She told officers that she and Rosales, her ex-boyfriend, had an ongoing child custody dispute and that there was a restraining order on file against him. Police said Rosales has no custodial rights to the girl.

“The mother said Leonardo showed up at her residence with two additional male suspects,” according to an LAPD statement. “Leonardo forced his way into the residence and threatened the family while armed with a knife. He forcibly removed the child and fled in a gray Honda Accord with unknown license plate.”

Rosales was arrested the next day when he and another man were spotted at an apartment complex on Pico Canyon road in Stevenson Ranch, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Santa Clarita Station.

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