Photo: Angel Flores, 4, pushed from car by father, left on the interstate (Sweetwater Police Department)
In Texas, a four-year-old boy is in state custody after his father reportedly threw him out of the vehicle onto a West Texas highway lined with cacti.
Angel Flores had to have at least 500 cactus spines removed from his body after his father, Carlos Rico, pushed him out of his car along Interstate 20 around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Police Chief Jim Kelley from nearby Streetwater told the Abilene Reporter-News that Rico, 22, “threw the boy out of the car like a bag of garbage.”
Three hours later, high school basketball coach, Al Hunt, was driving by when he saw what he initially thought was a guardrail post.
“It took me seconds to realize, `it’s a little kid there,”’ the coach, 54, said. He took the boy to the hospital immediately and said Flores did not say a thing, and only held up four fingers when asked how old he was.
Saginaw police spokesman Damon Ing told The Associated Press that the boy’s father drove from Lubbock to Sagniaw, leaving his son on the interstate along the way.
Rico’s cousin called the police when the father arrived at his home without the boy. Investigators quickly discovered that Rico was the father of the boy found near Sweetwater.
The father reportedly told investigators that God told him to choke the boy and get him out of the car. Chief Kelley confirmed that bruises were found around the four-year-old’s throat.
Rico has been charged with child endangerment in Sagniaw, and faces additional charges in Sweetwater – 225 miles west of Dallas – including attempted murder or attempted capital murder which could apply since the boy is under the age of six.
The whereabouts of the biological mother are unknown, but the boy’s stepmother in Lubbock went to Sweetwater to the be with him.
A spokeswoman for Child Protective Services told the Associated Press that a custody hearing is set for July 7.
It was also stated that there is no history of abuse within Flores’ family.