Children left by mother at fire station to remain in CPS custody

By Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Two parents accused of trying to abandon their kids at a fire station were no shows to a Tuesday afternoon emergency custody hearing.

Neither Jasmine Jones, the children's mother, nor their father, John Lee Smith, appeared in court.

A judge decided the boys, ages 3 years old and 9 months old, would remain in state custody, because there were no suitable family members to take them.

Child Protective Services case workers revealed in the hearing that the family was already being investigated.

"Drug allegations were made. There were allegations of domestic violence between she and father of the children as well as physical abuse of the children," said Harris County Assistant Attorney Tiffany Reedy.

Monday night, Jones disputed that she was giving up her children.

"That's all we were trying to do, help our kids out," Jasmine Jones told KPRC 2 News on Monday.

Houston firefighters said Jones showed up at Station 73 with a 3-year-old boy and a 9-month-old boy. HFD Capt. Arthur DeLaGarza said Jones claimed the children's father wasn't helping care for them, and she wanted to leave them at the station.

Firefighters said they told Jones they would have to call police, because the law does not allow children that old to be dropped off. The "Baby Moses" law only allows parents of children 60 days or younger to be left at fire stations, hospitals or emergency medical stations.

Firefighters said Jones also claimed the 3-year-old boy was not her son. DeLaGarza said when Jones was informed police had to be called, she tried to leave with the children.

Firefighters said Jones left, but they would not allow her to take the children.

Firefighters said police eventually tracked down Jones at a nearby apartment complex. The entire family was then taken to the CPS center in southwest Houston.

"These allegations were made up," said Jones.

Outside the CPS center, Jones said she is the mother of both children, and she went to the fire station, because the kids were in distress.

"We were just trying to get them help with their asthma," said Jones. "They're kids, they're babies, and they had an asthma attack."

When KPRC 2 asked why firefighters would make up a story about her trying to drop off the kids, Jones did not have a specific answer.

"We can't get in trouble. We were just helping the kids," said Jones.

CPS said the children appear to be in good health, and they are still trying to track down their father.

DeLaGarza said a man identified as the children's father was seen and heard yelling obscenities at her. DeLaGarza said the man never approached the fire station and left the area before police arrived.

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