A Honduran migrant dumped his young daughter in the Rio Grande while trying to illegally cross the southern border from Mexico into Texas, authorities said.
On July 16, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety and a Florida Highway Patrol lieutenant assigned to patrol the border under Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star initiative took Miguel Ernesto Nunez Martinez into custody in Eagle Pass, according to the affidavit.
Texas DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez tweeted that he is being taken into custody and faces felony charges of criminal trespass and child endangerment.
Officials said they had verbally warned him not to enter private property on the Rio Grande. The Shelby Park area has been marked off with “no trespassing” signs, razor wire, shipping containers and fences to keep out, the affidavit said.
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In a statement, FHP Lt. Michael Matiza said he saw “a Hispanic male, dressed all in black, with tattoos on his neck, (sic) by a child in the Rio Grande River.”
Authorities say the child is 1 year old and is wearing a pink bow in her hair.
“The child went completely underwater and was obviously in distress and in danger of drowning,” Matiza wrote.
Nunez-Martinez eventually walked over and grabbed the girl from under the water, authorities said. Just then a river boat saw what was happening and turned back.
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“The child was crying and apparently scared,” Matiza said she observed.
Earlier this month, Abbott announced the installation of a “marine barrier installation” along the Rio Grande, consisting of orange buoys and intended to discourage migrants from crossing the river. The move has drawn criticism from Mexico, who say it could violate border and water agreements.