Police officers see things on a daily basis that would make most private citizens’ hair curl. Addiction. Violence. All the evidence of human depravity.
For the men and women in blue, it’s just another day on the job. But a pair of New Mexico deputies encountered a situation so thoughtless and cruel that it likely took even their breath away.
According to The Epoch Times, the incident occurred on Feb. 8, 2016. Deputies Roger Garcia and Sam Rodriguez with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department were patrolling when they saw a vehicle driving erratically.
In fact, it was swerving all over the road. Suspecting that they had an intoxicated driver on their hands, the deputies pulled him over.
Salas had three children in his car. The little ones ranged from 5 years old to 2 years old to a mere 2 months old.
The 2-year-old wasn’t even buckled into the car seat. But the kids hadn’t considered all the danger their father put them in.
They were thinking about one thing: their stomachs. The trio was famished.
“What hurt me the most is when we asked [about the last time they ate], they couldn’t remember,” Garcia said. “And they were hungry.”
More deputies soon arrived, scrambling to help. The first thing they did was surreptitiously remove the drunk dad from the scene.
Rodriguez stated, “We had to remove him from the kids’ view. The last thing we wanted to do was expose these kids to a negative law enforcement [encounter] with their father.”
Then they began trying to help the children, some of them going to McDonald’s to get grub for the older kids. What ensued next might’ve seemed like a comedic routine if circumstances weren’t so sad.
“It was a bunch of cops in uniform trying to make a bottle on the side of the road,” Rodriguez said. “We had a cold water bottle and we’re trying to use our heater to warm up the water for him.”
They also needed to change the kids’ soiled diapers. Rodriguez produced a blanket he’d gotten from church and swaddled the baby in it.
“I’ve always babysat since I was a kid, but I’ve never done it with a gun on my belt in the passenger seat of a patrol car with a rifle next to me,” Rodriguez said. But for all the incongruity of the situation, the deputies found themselves full of righteous anger on behalf of the children.
He said, “It was really hard to be professional when we had such strong opinions about the morality of the situation. We really tried to keep it together for the welfare of the kids.”
But the kids were safe, and were turned over to the Children Youth and Families Department, where they were in much better hands than they had been with their own father.
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