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Couple arraigned on charges related to baby-dropping incident

February 07, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A Panorama man accused of dropping his friend's baby on the ground and running from police here this weekend was arraigned Tuesday.

Robert Garcia Jr., 20, of Panorama and his friend Leticia Isabel Fregoso, 19, of Pacoima were arrested Saturday by Calexico police.

Garcia was arraigned in county jail court Tuesday on a felony count of willful cruelty to a child with possible injury and four misdemeanor counts of evading and resisting arrest. He has a pretrial hearing Friday.

Fregoso was arraigned on a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

The two were arrested after U.S. Customs Service inspectors reported two people in a white pickup had run through the downtown Calexico Port of Entry about 6:20 p.m. Calexico police said Garcia's pickup was later identified by port officials as the vehicle that went through the port without stopping.

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While Calexico police were searching for the port runner, they were called to a report that a white pickup had collided with a fire hydrant in the 0-99 block of Fifth Street, according to a press release from the Calexico Police Department.

When police arrived, witnesses told officers the driver had run north down the east alley of the 500 block of Imperial Avenue. Officers searched for the driver and later arrested Fregoso when she returned to the scene of the accident.

Officers found a man matching the driver's description in an alley two blocks away. When police approached the man, he dropped a bundle and ran. A police Explorer scout who had been riding with the officer held the bundle containing Fregoso's 21-month-old girl while the officer chased the man and arrested him about four blocks away in the 500 block of Harold Avenue. The man was later identified as Garcia. Calexico police Sgt. Armando Marquez said the girl was not hurt.

The girl was taken to the county's Betty Jo McNeece Receiving Home. Marquez said no drugs or contraband were found in the pickup.

Garcia was in the county jail with his bail set at $35,000. Fregoso also was in the county jail but was being released this morning after being sentenced to three days in jail, which she served, according to a jail staffer.

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