Dallas police say a 2-year-old boy was found safe after he was reported missing in Oak Cliff Sunday morning. The boy was taken home by a family who noticed he'd been left alone in a car outside a bar.
Dallas police said the boy's mother, Diana Salinas, left him in her car while she went inside a bar to argue with her ex-husband, Oscar Pacheco, over child support and then hid in the bed of his pickup truck as he drove home.
At some point during the altercation with Pacheco, Salinas called a friend and asked her to get her son from the car she left at the bar. When the friend arrived at the bar in the 500 block of Gilpin Avenue and didn't find the child, she called 911 to report the child was missing.
Police said at about 8:30 a.m., after several hours of searching, officers found the boy at an apartment complex about 100 yards from the bar. Officers learned two people saw the boy was alone in the car, waited with him for awhile and eventually took him home.
"We were very fortunate a family in here had actually seen the baby in the vehicle," said Sgt. Brenda Nichols, with the Dallas Police Department Missing Persons Squad. "They waited approximately 40 minutes to see if anyone was going to return for the baby. No one did, so they took the baby out."
Police said a woman took great care of the child and when she heard police knocking on doors she came out and told officers she had the boy.
When asked about the family not calling police instead of taking the child home, Nichols explained communication and cultural barriers likely played a role.
Police said the woman will not get in trouble and that officers thanked her from preventing the child from being in further danger.
Child Protective Services placed the boy with other family members while Dallas police continue their investigation. It's unclear when, or if, the boy's mother will get him back.
Police urge anyone who finds an abandoned child to call 911 immediately.
Police Report of Bar Incident
According to a police report, Salinas assaulted Pacheco at the bar. Police said Pacheco suffered scratches to his face, neck and chest from her finger nails and Salinas reportedly kicked him multiple times.
The police report also states that Pacheco drove to his home a few blocks from the bar with Salinas hiding in the bed of his pick-up truck. When he got home Salinas got out of the bed of the pick-up truck and, according to police, she broke his driver-side mirror and started banging and kicking his front door.
Dallas police said Salinas was arrested and charged with assault family violence and abandoning a child.