A Harris County judge granted Child Protective Services temporary custody of a 4-year-old boy on Thursday, one day after the child was allegedly forced out of a car on the Southwest Freeway frontage road and abandoned.
A cab driver told police he was in the 7000 block of the Southwest Freeway when he saw a child being forced out of a vehicle. The cab driver picked up the little boy and then flagged down an officer.
“What we heard is that he started chasing after the truck but he told us he couldn't catch up to it,” said CPS spokesperson Estella Olguin.
Houston police said the cab driver reported the incident around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Around 5 a.m. police got a call from a pay phone in southeast Houston. A woman told a dispatcher she and her boyfriend and gotten into a fight and she and her 4-year-old son had been thrown out of the car. She said the boy ran away and hadn't been seen since around 3 a.m. By the time police responded to the scene, the woman was gone.
“There are various stories about how he ended up on the freeway but what's concerning is that she didn't come to us until almost 12 hours later to talk to us about the situation,” said Olguin.
In court on Thursday, a CPS caseworker testified that the boy told her his mother and her boyfriend had pushed him out of the car. The caseworker also told the judge the child's mother tested positive for cocaine Wednesday.
The boy's mother didn't attend the emergency custody hearing. The Houston Police Department is still investigating the case. At this point, no charges have been filed against the mother or her boyfriend.
CPS was also granted custody of the woman's 3-year-old daughter on Thursday. Olguin said a third child was already in CPS protective custody and a fourth is being raised by his paternal grandparents.