HOUSTON - Neighbors said Victor Ruiz parked his car in a no parking zone when he briefly went to his apartment with groceries Thursday and left his two young daughters in the car.The child abandonment charge is ridiculous. I could not find a specific law against abandoning a child in a car, but the Texas family code Title 5 Chap. 261 says:
According to neighbors, a tow truck driver quickly latched onto the family's car and took off.
Court documents show the tow truck driver made the discovery and stopped about two miles away on Wheatley. Neighbors said he should have realized much earlier.
"When he pulled into the apartments, he hurried up and hooked his thing on the car," said Sade Jones, neighbor. Jones told Local 2, "I'm like wait! Them kids in the car. He snapped the picture and hurry up and sped off with these peoples' cars."
Ruiz was charged with two counts of abandoning a child because the kids were left without supervision.
Jones asked, "How did he abandon a child if a whole bunch of people was around watching his car?"
Ruiz sat in jail on a $4,000 bond.
No one answered at the family's apartment Friday night.
Sec. 261.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:These statutes generally require some willful harm to the child. Even if you think that this dad was lazy or irresponsible, he was not criminal.
(1) "Abuse" includes the following acts or omissions by a person:
(A) mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child's growth, development, or psychological functioning;
(B) causing or permitting the child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child's growth, development, or psychological functioning;
(C) physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child, including an injury that is at variance with the history or explanation given and excluding an accident or reasonable discipline by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator that does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm;
(D) failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent an action by another person that results in physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child; ...
(4) "Neglect" includes:
(A) the leaving of a child in a situation where the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm, without arranging for necessary care for the child, and the demonstration of an intent not to return by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator of the child;
(B) the following acts or omissions by a person:
(i) placing a child in or failing to remove a child from a situation that a reasonable person would realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child's level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities and that results in bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate harm to the child;
(ii) failing to seek, obtain, or follow through with medical care for a child, with the failure resulting in or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury or with the failure resulting in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child;
(iii) the failure to provide a child with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child, excluding failure caused primarily by financial inability unless relief services had been offered and refused; ...