The man who allegedly took him has been arrested and is being booked for carjacking and kidnapping.
The gray 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pickup was stolen around 3 p.m. in the area of the Petersen Automotive Museum at Wilshire Boulevard and Orange Grove Avenue.
The truck was stolen after two friends got into a fight and one took off in the truck with the other man's 7-year-old boy in the back seat.
The initial report of a kidnapped boy triggered a large police response in the area.
The father of the boy spoke to Eyewitness News, saying he knows the suspect.
Angelo Marks said he and his friend were driving with Marks' son in the back seat. He wanted to stop to eat, but his friend did not want to and they got into an argument - which turned into an assault.
"He just punched me in my face," Marks said. "I got scared, I got off the truck. He just put it in gear and took off with my truck and my little boy."
The other man fled in the truck, with Marks' son in the back seat.
Police later found the pickup in the 200 block of South Elm Drive in Beverly Hills but the child and suspect remained missing for several hours.
Later Thursday night, police said the suspect dropped the boy off at the Wilshire police station.
The suspect was identified as Nicky "Bob" Jace. He was arrested and was being booked for carjacking and kidnapping.
The boy was reunited with his father.