LEVELLAND, Texas– A Levelland man was arrested over the weekend after investigators said he kidnapped a child from a residence in Hockley County.
On Sunday, August 23, Levelland Police were dispatched to the 1300 block of East Ellis Street for what was reported as a stranded motorist, said Levelland PD Chief Albert Garcia.
When Police arrived on scene, they found the vehicle, along with Damien Gonzales, 26 of Levelland, and a 9-year-old girl.
Gonzales claimed that his vehicle broke down, but that was not the case, said Garcia.
Police began to press Gonzales on how he knew the child and who her parents were. Garcia said officers became more concerned for the child’s safety when Gonzales could not give them an answer.
Furthermore, police said Gonzales took the child from a birthday party at a residence in Hockley County. Officers suspected he then drove into Levelland and pulled over on East Ellis to sexually assault the child.
When police contacted the parents of the child, they were not aware that their child was missing, said Garcia.
He commended officers who responded to the scene saying they did an excellent job to ensure the safety of the child.
When officers took inventory of the vehicle, they found methamphetamine in plain sight. However, Garcia said Gonzales was not charged for it.
Gonzales was arrested and remained in the Hockley County Jail on charges of criminal neglect, aggravated kidnapping and indecency with a child.
He remained in the jail Friday in lieu of bonds at $70,000.
The case remained under investigation by police and the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office.