Valley mother demands answers after son left inside transport van at Cameron County Sheriff's Office
A Valley mother is demanding answers after her 17-year-old son was left in a van by Cameron County Sheriff’s Office employees.
The incident happened on June 27.
Christina Gonzalez says her son, 17-year-old Angel Deras, was set to be released that day after spending two weeks in jail for failing to charge his ankle monitor.
Gonzalez says she still has questions about why her son was left in the van.
“I asked, 'How can they forget?” Gonzalez said in Spanish. “'Well I don’t know, I thought they were going somewhere on a break. I don’t know'. He says, 'I saw they weren’t coming.' And they had him with handcuffs on his hands and feet.”
The sheriff's office said Gonzalez was found at 6 p.m. inside a transport van at the detention center.
On Monday, June 27, 2022, at around 6pm Detention Officers were made aware of an inmate left inside a transport van in a secured area of CRDC. The inmate was given medical attention immediately and cleared by our medical staff. Investigation is ongoing. pic.twitter.com/OpPTL12gyT— Cameron County SO (@CameronCountySO) June 30, 2022
Cameron County Sheriff Eric Garza says Deras was in there for no more than 45 minutes.
“We had two jailers checking the secured area of CRDC,” said Garza. “At that time, they noticed that there was an inmate in a van.”
Gonzalez says that the vehicle was turned off.
“The probation officer tells us when he got off he was drenched in sweat,” Gonzalez said. “He looked like he had just gotten out of the shower.”
Gonzalez says her son felt dizzy and nauseous. The sheriff says Duras received medical attention and medical staff said he was fine.
The criminal investigation division investigated the incident.
“They concluded there was no criminal intent by that incident,” Garza said. “They did ask the jailers why or what was the circumstance of that happening; the jailers weren’t able to answer that question.”
The sheriff says the two jailers involved with the transportation did face consequences. Garza did not identify the jailers or clarify whether they were fired or suspended.
While the investigation may be over for the sheriff’s office, it's not for Gonzalez.
“What I want is for this not to happen again for other people,” Gonzalez said. “Since he has on his monitor, I’m just on high alert that they’ll put him in jail again and this will happen again.”
Attorney Ignacio Martinez says he is going to launch an investigation against the sheriff’s office and will request video or any other type of documentation to determine if the department was negligent.
Sheriff Garza says his office is also taking steps to prevent this from happening again by installing dash cams in all of their vehicles, including transportation vans.
“To ensure that whenever they come back into CRDC, no one is in the unit when they are being dropped off,” Garza said. “This includes when they are being moved to other jails.”
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