CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Houston County Sheriff's Office arrested a man and a woman on child endangerment charges Wednesday after they served a search warrant on a home and reportedly finding a 2-year-old child with access to used drug needles and an unsecured gun.
The child was also in a home with a vicious dog that was running loose inside the home.
Sarah Rene Mathes, 28, of Lovelady, and John Alber Bass, 24, of Crockett, were both arrested and charged with second-degree endangering a child. Bass was also charged with state-jail felony possession of a controlled substance.
According to the arrest affidavit, HCSO deputies and investigators served a search warrant for property stolen in a Houston County burglary at a house in the 900 block of Terrell Street Wednesday. When law enforcement officers breached the front door, they found the 2-year-old child very near the front of the home.
The affidavit stated the child was "susceptible to serious bodily" injury during the deputies' forced entry into the home.
The deputies heard a dog barking, and they later learned that it was unsecured. The owner told them it was vicious, the affidavit stated.
During the search the HCSO deputies found needles that field-tested positive for methamphetamine in several locations, the stolen property listed in the warrant, scales, distribution baggies, grinders, unused needles, and an unsecured gun.
According to the affidavit, Mathes, the child's mother, left the toddler at the home in Bass' care after she got high on meth with the occupants of the home on Terrell Street. The affidavit described Bass as a "known narcotics user/trafficker."
Mathes allegedly admitted to going to hang out with Bass and getting high on meth with him.
A man told the deputies that Mathes strapped the child into a car seat as punishment at some point, the affidavit stated.
Bass told the deputies that he agreed to watch the child, but went to lie down at some point, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit went on to say that Mathes and Bass committed the offense of child endangerment by "knowingly and recklessly" using narcotics, subjecting the child to a vicious animal and allowing the child access to used needles and an unsecured gun that put the toddler in "imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical/mental impairment."