Police find man in ditch holding baby

Police find man in ditch holding baby

Police arrested an apparently intoxicated man found lying in a ditch filled with water while holding a 1-year-old child in his arms Aug. 29, reports Orange Police Department Officer Michael Roush.

According to Roush, officers were dispatched to the intersection of MLK and Allie Payne in reference to a report of a subject walking alongside the roadway with a small child. According to the report, the man had attempted to jump into the caller's passing vehicle. When Roush arrived, he saw the man the caller described, later identified as 29-year-old Jacolbi Jones of Orange, lying on his back with the child on his chest in a ditch off the roadway.

"Due to the rain throughout the past week," Roush wrote, "the ditch was full of water around 2 (two) feet deep. Jones was on the bank with his legs in the water with the baby two feet away from the water."

Roush detailed the dangerous circumstances of the position he found the man and child. He noted that the grass in the ditch was between two and three feet high. He observed barbed wire fencing and livestock present in the area. There were no sidewalks on the two-lane road, which had no shoulders. There was no light except that provided by the police patrol cars, and Jones was wearing a dark green t-shirt and gray sweat pants, making him more difficult to see in the dark. The baby was clothed only in a dark-colored T-shirt and diaper - no pants, no socks and no shoes.

Officers spoke to Jones at the location he was found. Roush reported he could smell an unknown chemical odor emanating from Jones, which, according to other reports, is often an indicator of PCP use. Roush believed Jones was intoxicated on "an unknown substance, drug or dangerous drug" and placed him under arrest for public intoxication.

But Jones would not go easily, according to Roush. When officers tried to remove the baby from his grasp, he tightened his hold on the child's arm, Roush reported. Roush stated that he was eventually able to pry Jones' hands from the baby and hand the child to Officer Jana Goins. Jones continued to struggle, and grabbed at the officers' hands and gun belts, Roush described, but they finally got him handcuffed. He was then transported to Orange Baptist Hospital for medical clearance. Jones remained uncooperative, so he was shackled and handcuffed with an additional pair of cuffs joining the restraints, allowing for less movement. In addition to public intoxication, Jones was also charged with resisting arrest and child neglect. 

Police contacted the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Child Protective Services (CPS) to take custody of the child, who was unharmed and later released to a relative.