HOUSTON – KPRC reporter Phil Archer got a rare look at efforts to arrest hundreds of people in the Houston area accused of crimes against children.
The initiative comes in April, which is known as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The four-day initiative, which ended Friday, involved investigators from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Warrants Division and the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
They divided into three teams that attempted to serve about 400 warrants, all issued over the past year, for injury to a child, sexual assault of a child, continuing sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child and child abandonment.
On the job before dawn, Deputy Gerardo Tijerina was hunting child abusers.
Tijerina is part of the team of warrant officers who spent the week looking for fugitives who have either abused, endangered or neglected children.
“They thought he fled, according to his wife, but nothing was ever checked,” Tijerina said of one fugitive.
It’s a tedious, sometimes dangerous job that requires a lot of leg work and research and plenty of patience.
At one stop, they were looking for Celso Jaimes. He’s charged with continually raping a 15-year-old girl for three years.
Jaimes wasn’t at his mother’s home, but they don’t think he went far.
His mother said he left the country.
Neighbors and an aunt told authorities that Jaimes was at his mother’s house last week.
“Everybody’s changing their story up and that happens, that happens a lot,” Tijerina said. “We’ll catch him, we’ll get him. He knows about these warrants, so he’s hiding out somewhere.”
In a city as big as Houston, it’s not always easy to find somebody on the run. An address that was good a month or even a week ago may be a dry hole by the time authorities are able to check it out.
It looked like another one at 24-year-old Martisha Grandy’s apartment when authorities arrived and there was no one home.
Grandy is charged with endangering her son, a toddler.
She left him alone to attend a party, according to court records. The boy was found wandering a parking lot at 1 a.m.
Police found his mother a few miles away, where she works. Grandy said she’s innocent.
“What happened was, my baby sitter who was supposed to be watching my baby, she ended up leaving," Grandy said.
She’ll have a chance to tell it to the judge when she has her day in court.