SOUTH EL MONTE (CBSLA.com) — Detectives on Thursday arrested a 31-year-old father they said abandoned his 6-year-old son in a park in South El Monte earlier this week.
Juan Garcia of Pomona was arrested and charged with child endangerment.
Officials said about 9:40 p.m. Monday, sheriff’s deputies responded to Legg Lake in the Whittier Narrows Regional Park regarding reports of a found child.
Deputies spoke to a person who found the boy crying and looking for his father.
The child, who told officers he was cold and hungry, was placed in the deputy’s patrol car and fed while authorities continued a search for his dad.
Authorities said they found a vehicle nearby with a flat tire believed to have been driven by the father. The suspect, however, was nowhere to be found.
The child was placed into protective custody at 1 a.m. after all attempts to locate the father had been exhausted. The child’s mother was later located and took custody of the boy.
Garcia was booked at San Dimas Sheriff’s Station, where he is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Parks Bureau Deputy Johnie Jones at (323) 376-7621.