Courtesy: Dallas County Jail
DALLAS (WSVN) — A Dallas man has been arrested after police said he abandoned four children in a filthy apartment.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by Fox 4, police arrested 41-year-old Robert Preston after a neighbor found his 3-year-old son wandering around in the cold wearing a T-shirt and just one shoe.
Police said Preston initially walked up to officers who were interviewing their neighbor and asked them if they had found his child.
Police said Preston had outstanding warrants and took him into custody. That’s when, they said, he told them that he had three other children inside his apartment.
Officers said he told them he had gone to the store to get food for the children and had only left them alone for about 10 or 15 minutes.
When police went into the apartment, they said they found the three boys, ages 4, 3 and 1, sitting on the floor with the oven on.
Police said there was no furniture in the apartment, just filth, feces and bottles of alcohol, and officers said the toilets in both bathrooms looked like they had not been flushed in weeks, despite the apartment having running water.
Fox 4 reported that the kids had some access to food, but there were no clean dishes and utensils, and one child showed an officer a used Sunny D bottle with dried chocolate milk he had been using as a cup.
“The kitchen sink was about to overflow with stagnant water that smelled like a dead animal,” police wrote in the affidavit, “old food was floating in the water and the water had become opaque.”
Officers also said they found a small malnourished puppy with protruding ribs and hip bones in a closet filled with feces. Police said the children reacted as if they had never seen the animal and ran around screaming when officers brought it out.
Police said that the boys’ language patterns also sounded off, as they appeared to not have much interaction with anyone outside of their family. Police said that they referred to each other as “Robert,” and they couldn’t tell officers their own names.
Officers also said that Preston acted as if everything they found in his apartment was normal. He has since been charged with four counts of child abandonment.
The boys have been taken into child protective custody, along with two older sisters who were in a different home at the time of Preston’s arrest. The puppy was also taken in by animal services.
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