A Texas father is facing criminal charges after his four young children were found abandoned in a home which authorities said wasn’t fit for habitation.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by WFAA, Robert Preston, 31, was arrested on child endangerment charges Sunday after his four kids—5 and 2, and two 3-year-old twins—were found in his “filthy” Dallas apartment. Police alleged they found a malnourished puppy in the closet.
The affidavit described stagnant sink water as smelling “like a dead animal” and claimed that toilets appeared as if they hadn’t been flushed in weeks. Moreover, the residence was reportedly unfurnished, reeked of feces, and the floor was littered with bottles of alcohol.
Preston’s arrest came a day after police responded to reports of a 3-year-old boy running unattended around the apartment complex. The suspect reportedly approached an officer there, claiming he went to the store for 10-15 minutes and asking if they’ve seen a small child, according to the news station.
Dallas Morning News reports that the resident who called police claimed the boy was shivering and was wearing a T-shirt and only one shoe. While officers took Preston into custody on an active parole violation warrant, he reportedly asked who was going to care for his other three children. The father reportedly told officers that he had left the oven on while he went to the store.
The affidavit obtained by the news outlet reportedly said the four children called each other “Robert,” as they didn’t know their own names. Officers at the residence noted that they communicated through body language and gestures as their language patterns appeared “off,” according to the news outlet.
An officer wrote, “The children do not appear to have been socialized in a normal manner and it appears they have had limited contact with anyone outside of their immediate family.”
Authorities also alleged that the children were screaming and yelling when cops let the dog out the closet — as if they had never seen it before.
The Dallas Morning News reports that three of the boys were immediately placed in Child Protective Services’ custody, while the 2-year-old was hospitalized. Authorities have not yet released an update on condition.
Preston, whose parole stemmed from a 2015 armed robbery charge, is being held on $80,000 bond for the child endangerment charges and without bond on the parole violation charge.
[Featured image: Robert Preston/Dallas County Sheriff’s Department]