DUI dad leaves child behind


WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – Williamson County sheriff deputies have found the parents of a 2-year-old boy who was abandoned Saturday evening. The boy’s father, Ricardo Cardenas, has been arrested on a charge of child endangerment. 

Sheriff Robert Chody started tweeting about the situation around 8 p.m. Authorities say a toddler was left alone at a splash pad in the Paloma Lake area near Round Rock after his father allegedly was involved in a minor crash. 

A spokesperson for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office says the father was possibly intoxicated when he was backing out and hit a handicap sign. The father then left the scene, leaving the child behind, authorities say. 

“This was an event that occurred with a child that was too defenseless to defend himself,” Sheriff Chody said, “in an environment that his parent, the one who’s entrusted in protecting him, failed him.”

When a photo of the boy was released, a tipster called 911 identifying the parents. 

“Literally, 15 or 20 minutes later, we had a strong tip that not only recognized the child, but gave us the address and name of the parents,” Chody said.

Chody tweeted that deputies found the boy’s mother, who was out of town, around 10:27 p.m. and that she was unaware of what happened. 

Cardenas, 38, was then found at his Round Rock home and arrested. Williamson County Jail records show that Cardenas was booked into jail on Sunday and released the same day on a $12,500 bond. 

The child was taken into the custody of Child Protective Services and released to his mother on Sunday.

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