HOUSTON – Houston police and prosecutors are concerned that a recent rash of incidents involving children and intoxicated parents could signal a disturbing new trend.
The most recent example occurred early Saturday morning at the Bombshell’s Restaurant and Bar at 14191 Northwest Freeway.
Police arrested 21-seven-year-old Randle Guillory after he got into a fight in the men’s room. Guillory appeared to be intoxicated, so he was taken to the county sobering center where his blood alcohol level was measure at .26, more than three times the legal limit, according to court records.
What Guillory neglected to tell police at the time, according to investigators, was that he’d brought his disabled, 6-year-old son to the bar with him. A customer noticed the child in the rear seat of Guillory’s car, where it had been left in the parking lot around 2:30 a.m., officials said.
When he was questioned about it later, Guillory told police he had no reason to tell them his son was in his car.
“He was going to get back in that car and rive with that little boy at a .26 so thank god we got to him before then,” said Sean Teare, chief of vehicular crimes for the Harris County District Attorney.
Randle Guillory was charged with endangering a child, which is a state jail felony that carries a punishment of up to two years in jail if convicted.
Teare said police are reporting more incidents of parents drinking and driving with children along on Harris County highways.
Case in point, on Aug. 29, a woman accused of drinking while intoxicated caused a fiery crash on the Grand Parkway at FM2920. Her 6-year-old son was badly burned and is still hospitalized, officials said.
Then on Friday, an alleged DWI driver hit another car at Greenhouse and Morton Roads, sending four people to the hospital, two of them children.
“Anecdotally I’ll tell you I’ve seen more DWI child passengers. I know I’ve seen more DWIs with minors involved either behind the wheel or as a passenger.”
It could be coincidences, but it may be a trend. At this point, the investigators aren’t sure.
Teare said the DA’s office is currently compiling data to determine if it’s more an anomoly and what may be causing the increase in cases.