Man arrested after child found wandering near 19th Avenue in Phoenix

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Posted at 2:54 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 17:04:22-05

PHOENIX — A Phoenix man has been arrested after his five-year-old son was left alone and wandered away from their home.

The child was found wandering near 19th and Wier avenues alone and visibly frightened around noon on Tuesday, according to court paperwork.

Police officers canvassed the area looking for the child’s family and were not successful. The child was taken to a local police precinct while they continued looking for the family.

About three hours after the child was originally found, court paperwork shows 27-year-old Roberto Cervantes contacted police. Cervantes said he left the child alone thinking that he would be safe in the backyard with a family dog.

Cervantes claimed the mother told him to ride his bike in the area to look for the boy before reaching out to police because they could get in trouble. He eventually called police after a neighbor told him that officers had taken the child.

Court paperwork shows Cervantes eventually admitted to police that he should not have left the child alone. He said he and the mother were running errands and were gone for approximately four hours.

Cervantes faces one count of child abuse and criminal neglect.

It's unclear if the mother also faces charges in the incident.