4-year-old boy has been placed with CPS

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Jim Wells county Correspondent

A boy, believed to be four years of age, was left behind after a sheriff's deputy followed a pick-up truck on County Road 1930 and County Road 380, where about 20 undocumented immigrants fled and ran into the brush, according to court documents obtained Tuesday.

Jim Wells County Sheriff Oscar Lopez said this type of situation doesn't occur often.

"Not very often," he said. "Anything that has to do with a kid, we contact CPS. That little kid was turned over to Child Protective Service."

According to court documents filed in the 79th District Court, a four year old was recovered by two Jim Wells County deputies on April 14. The boy was abandoned when occupants of the vehicle he was riding with fled into the brush on County Road 1930 and County Road 380 as they were trying to flee from the deputy, after a chase with speeds up to 100 miles per hour, a sheriff's report said. The sheriff's report states the boy was unable to cross over a fence.

"I observed the pick-up truck parked on County Road 380 with approximately 20 of what I believed to be illegal immigrants bailing out, crossing over a fence and disappearing into the brush," JWC Deputy Mark Martinez said in his report. "I approached the vehicle cautiously and observed a small boy approximately five years of age standing on the roadside, left behind and unable to get over the fence."

The court document said the young boy "appeared dirty and had several scratches on his arms, a healed scar on his head and soiled clothing…he had no underwear under his clothing."

Child Protective Service personnel and the deputies attempted to speak to the child, but the child would only reply with "no," "jugo," which means juice, and "pelota," or ball, the court records said.

After numerous attempts to try to locate any family members of the child by calling the owners of the vehicle, who resides in Houston, no one claimed the child.

The Department of Family and Protective Services decided to place the child into protective services.

"…due to the unknown citizenship of the child, unknown caregivers and no locating information for any family members," court records stated. "It was also clear the child's caregivers placed the child in danger when fleeing law enforcement and abandoning the child in the vehicle with no expression to anyone to return for the child."