Border agents catch alleged child molester in Eagle Pass

By Jeff Awtrey - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A man charged with bond forfeiture after no-showing his trial for aggravated sexual assault of a child was caught Saturday morning attempting to cross the Mexican border, according to the Angelina County sheriff.

Weldon Bridges, 48, who is already indicted on two charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of copper theft, failed to show for a non-jury trial on July 1.

Sheriff Kent Henson said U.S. Customs and Border Protection identified Weldon Saturday morning as he was attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. He was transported to the Maverick County Jail. Two Angelina County deputies are bringing him back from Eagle Pass and are expected to book him in the Angelina County Jail around 5 p.m., Henson said.

"He was entered into the computer and everybody was looking for him," Henson said. "Customs recognized his white car and called us Saturday morning and said they had him."

The father of the victim of the alleged assault said he was thankful to the law enforcement agencies for tracking down Bridges.

Henson said Bridges will stand trial on the assault charges on Thursday before a judge as he has waived the right to a jury.

Angelina County District Attorney Clyde Herrington, who will prosecute the case, said the fact Bridges fled before the trial "can not help his case."

"Of course I haven't heard his side so he may have a reason for having left," Herrington said.

According to a CBP press release, an officer referred a 1999 Dodge Stratus for a secondary inspection after a query indicated a possible warrant for his arrest. A secondary inspection confired Bridges' identity.

"The apprehension of a fugitive wanted on sexual assault charges involving a child illustrate the potential dangers our officers face on a daily basis and underscore their resolve to keep America safe by securing the border," stated John Salazar, CBP Port Director, Eagle Pass, in the press release.