McLennan Co, Tx (FOX44) – A 27-year-old Grapevine man remained in the McLennan County Jail on a $305,000 bond after a bizarre drive up and down on Interstate 35 Saturday – during which family members were left behind at two different locations.
Anthony Paul Smith was finally arrested at the Abbott Travel Center as deputies searched for him after 9-1-1 operators heard screaming during a call for assistance.
It was about 7:00 p.m. Saturday when deputies and West Police Department officers were sent to a gas station in West. They were told a juvenile girl was on the line, saying her step dad left her mother and stepsister off at the gas station, and was driving south on I-35 erratically.
An arrest affidavit quoted the caller as saying she was still in the vehicle with him, and that the man was speeding really fast – with the affidavit stating she described the driver as drunk.
The affidavit stated the dispatcher wrote in the call notes that the driver took the phone, and screaming could be heard over the phone – with the connection then being broken.
Additional units were sent to the area to search for the vehicle, when the girl who was in the car said she was dropped off at a CVS Pharmacy on 5th Street in Waco and was left behind. She ran inside for safety and called 9-1-1 again from there.
The girl told the 9-1-1 operator there was still a five-month-old baby in the vehicle. Phone pings on the cell phone in the car indicated the driver was headed back north, and was apparently abandoning the girl.
As deputies were interviewing the girl, they were told she was struck in the face as they drove between West and Waco. At the same time, additional deputies were still actively looking for the vehicle – and the driver was found a short time later at the Abbott Travel Center.
Smith was taken into custody and transported to the McLennan County Jail, where he remained Tuesday on charges of third-degree felony injury to a child, felony abandoning or endangering a child without intention of returning, and interfering with an emergency call requesting emergency assistance.