CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Crockett Police Department arrested a 28-year-old man on a felony child endangerment charge after his 2-year-old son was found wandering near East Loop 304 unsupervised.
Michael Justin Read, of Crockett, was arrested and charged with state-jail felony endangering a child. His bail amount was set at $5,000.
According to the arrest affidavit East Texas News obtained Wednesday, a Crockett PD officer was dispatched to the Pioneer Bank located on East Loop 304 Monday in reference to a 911 call about a young boy walking toward the roadway alone.
When the officer arrived on the scene, he found a woman and a small child standing near the road. The woman told the CPS officer that she had been at the bank's ATM when she saw a young boy walking toward the road and she was afraid he wouldn't stop, the affidavit stated.
As a result, the woman stopped the little boy and waited with him until the Crockett PD officer arrived.
The woman told the CPD officer that it looked like the boy had walked from the direction of Joe Kale Road.
At that point, the Crockett PD officer took custody of the little boy. However, he was unsuccessful when he tried to get the child to talk to him, the affidavit stated. As the CPD officer walked the little boy away from the road and noticed several houses on Joe Kale Road, but he didn't see anyone near any of them.
While the officer was waiting for dispatch to give him more information, he noticed a couple of younger children running around the yard of a house a little further down Joe Kale Road. Then a man came out of the house, looking shocked, the affidavit stated. The man, who was later identified as Reed, went into the house and came back out again a short time later, the affidavit stated.
Reed walked to where the Crockett PD officer was standing with the boy and said that was his child, the affidavit stated. Reed allegedly told the officer that he and his kids had all been fighting the flu.
According to the affidavit, Reed told the CPD officer than after he passed out, his other children came into the house and said that his youngest son was gone. He said that was when the officer saw him come out of the house and look around.
After Reed explained he and his three sons were the only ones that lived at the residence, the Crockett PD officer took him and the boy back to their house and contacted Child Protective Services.
A CPS worker came to the house and talked to Reed, who said he often leaves his front door open and lets his kids come and go as they please. Further investigation revealed that the children were there for Spring Break and that their mother lives in Hemphill.
Once the CPS worker had finished her investigation, Reed gave her permission to take his three sons to their mother in Hemphill, and the Crockett PD officer helped the CPS worker gather the children's belongings.
After the CPS worker left with the children, the officer arrested Reed and took him to the county jail.