Tyler police file new charge on father accused of abandoning toddler in car seat along roadway

Tyler police file new charge on father accused of abandoning toddler in car seat along roadway
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 9:17 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 9:16 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler police have arrested a man accused of abandoning a toddler on the side of Rhones Quarter Road Tuesday night.

Paul Hanna, 37, of Tyler, was first charged with driving while intoxicated. Bond was set at $2,500. At around 4:30 p.m., a warrant was issued for endangering a child, and the bond for that charge is $750,000. Hanna remains in the Smith County Jail.

On Tuesday night at around 10 p.m., a caller reported a baby in a car seat alongside a Tyler roadway. Police arrived and located a one-year-old child in a car seat on the side of Rhones Quarter Road.

According to police spokesman Andy Erbaugh, police on the scene were unsure of whose child it was and how it got there. Moments later, officers responded to a possible intoxicated driver parked on the nearby CEFCO gas station on Troup Highway, Erbaugh said. Officers were able to confirm that the child belonged to the man found about a quarter-mile away from where the child was abandoned, Erbaugh said.

Hanna claimed to have left the child with his family but Hanna’s family denied the claims, Erbaugh said.

“The investigation determined that the child was Paul’s child. He thought he left the child with family, but the family said no. He was subsequently arrested for driving while intoxicated,” Erbaugh said. It is Hanna’s second DWI arrest.

The child is currently with family members and is not injured, Erbaugh said. He said CPS has been contacted.

Erbaugh said, “I’ve got children, and I’ve got young children, and something like this is really hard for us to work. I’ve been here over two decades and you see something new all the time, and it bothers us to see some of the calls we see. We’re just mainly happy, number one, that the child is okay; and that he (Hanna) is in the jail because that could have turned out worse and we’re very happy it didn’t.”

Tyler police have arrested a man accused of abandoning a toddler on the side of Rhones Quarter Road Tuesday night.