A father abandoned his 4-year-old son along a West Texas highway, and the injured boy spent several hours alone in the dark before a passing motorist picked him up, police said.
Carlos Rico, 22, stopped his car along a cactus-lined stretch of Interstate 20 near Sweetwater at about 3 a.m. Tuesday and “threw the boy out of the car like a bag of garbage,” Sweetwater police Chief Jim Kelley told the Abilene Reporter-News on Tuesday.
The boy was picked up about three hours later by the local high school basketball coach and taken to a hospital, where doctors removed at least 500 cactus spines from the child’s body, Kelley said. The boy was in the state’s custody on Wednesday.
“I’ve seen a lot of bad things. This is absolutely a first. I’ve never seen a 4-year-old angel left on the side of the road for dead. He’s such a sweet little boy,” he said.
Rico told Saginaw investigators that God told him to choke the boy and expel him from the car, Kelley said. There was bruising on the boy’s throat, he said.