SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the San Augustine Police Department arrested a 30-year-old woman on child endangerment charges Tuesday after she allegedly left four children, ages 7, 5, 3, and 2 at a home without any adult supervision for a long period of time.
Amber Dawn Fitzgerald, of San Augustine, was booked into the San Augustine County Jail on four state-jail felony abandon/endanger a child charges. She has since posted a collective bail amount of $20,000 and has been released from the jail.
According to the text of the San Augustine Police Department offense report, SAPS officers were dispatched out to 900 block of South Broadway Street on Monday to check out multiple 911 calls. Someone would call 911 and then immediately hang up.
Over the course of a three-hour period that night, there were a total of 31 911 calls from that address, the offense report stated.
When the SAPD officers went to check on a group of mobile homes in the 100 block of South Broadway Street at about 11:20 p.m. Monday and knocked on the door. A young boy peeked out a window at them, and one of the officers told him to come to the door.
After the boy opened the door, one of the officers asked where his mother or father was. The little boy said that he didn't know where his mom was or how long she had been gone, the offense report stated.
A second boy joined the first one a short time later, and they told the officers that they hadn't seen their mother since they got home from school earlier that afternoon.
"Officers asked the boys if they had a cell phone, and they said yes they did," the offense report stated. "'One of the boys went into a room to the right and returned with the phone. He then advised [one of the officers] "if you push this button right here, you can talk to people."
At that point, the boy pointed to the Emergency Call function on the phone's lock screen, the offense report stated. The boys also told the officers that the oldest boy had gotten the phone from a friend at school.
Later, the SAPD officers heard another child crying in one of the back rooms. They asked the two boys if there were other children in the home, and they said yes.
The boys led the two San Augustine PD officers to a bedroom. They found two other small children, a boy and a girl, lying in a bed. One of the officers checked the girl to see if she was breathing and found that she was just asleep.
When the SAPD officers asked the children their ages, the oldest boy said he was 7, and the next oldest boy was 5. He also said the girl was 3, and the youngest child was 2, the offense report stated.
According to the offense report, the 2-year-old boy had no diaper on underwear on, and he was just wearing a shirt. In addition, there was a small, electric heater on the floor with clothes all around it, which created a fire hazard, the offense report stated. An open box of over-the-counter sinus medicine was on the floor within easy reach of the children as well.
While one of the SAPD officers was talking to the children, a San Augustine County Sheriff's Office deputy found Fitzgerald inside a camper on the property. She told authorities that she had been at her sister's house and said that the children were supposed to be asleep.
Fitzgerald also told law enforcement that she was unaware that the children had access to a cell phone, the offense report stated.
The SAPD officers told her about the excessive 911 calls and told her that the children were too young to be left unattended for any period of time. They also notified Child Protective Services about the incident.