35 Parents Arrested in Child Support Roundup - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/5/06

35 Parents Arrested in Child Support Roundup

A two-day sweep led to 35 arrests in Lubbock County. Each suspect is a parent accused of neglecting their child by not paying child support.

Out of 110 warrants issued in Lubbock county, seven women and 28 men were arrested. It's part of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's crack-down on parents who don't pay up.

"We're here (Friday) to send a loud to send a loud and clear message: Take care of your kids, pay your child support or there will be consequences if you fail to do so," Abbott said.

Abbott was in town Friday commending Lubbock County on a job well done. As part of the roundup, Sheriff David Gutierrez sent out eight teams. Working day and night, the teams tracked down parents who they say failed to appear in court and pay child support.

"We have arrested 35 parents who have abandoned their child and abandoned the responsibility to take care of their children. They have been arrested and put behind bars, and we intend to continue this effort until all parents live up to the obligation to take care of their kids," Abbott said.

Abbott adds that without child support children don't get the food, clothing, and healthcare they deserve. "The fact is that parents who bring children into this world have an obligation to raise those kids and take care of those kids. Part of that obligation is to ensure the children have the support to grow up with."

"Child support money not only benefits the child of Texas, but efficient steady income of child support moneys also benefits the tax payers of this great state of Texas," said Gutierrez.

The parents arrested collectively owe more than $1 million of unpaid child support. One parent owes $80,000 alone.

Sheriff Gutierrez says just because the roundup is over, the arrests will continue. "My Warrant Deputies along with the other law enforcement agencies still have their names on the list and they will be continuing to follow up on these individuals. Wether it's 6 in the morning or at 10 o'clock at night they're going to be looking over their shoulder. (The parents) might as well as give us a call and make arrangements to take care of their needs with the court," Gutierrez said.

"We want all parents to comply with the law and their moral obligation to take care of their children, and if they don't comply with it we will go out and arrest them," Abbott said.

Abbot says being arrested at work or even at home is embarrassing, but parents can avoid that by calling the Warrant Division of the Sheriff's Office, at (806) 775-1493.

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