The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office is holding some area parents accountable after nearly totaling $450,000 of unpaid child support. Teamed up with Texas Attorney General's Office, deputies carried out a two-day child support roundup this week. NewsChannel 11 was the only station to ride along with deputies.
The sun is going down, which for Lubbock County Corporal Jeff Scott and Deputy Connie Gonzales means it's time go to work. Their job Wednesday evening is to serve 10 arrest warrants to parents who haven't paid their child support bill.
The first stop is in Southeast Lubbock. Upon arrival the team breaks up. Scott takes the back while, Gonzales checks to see if the suspect is home.
In total, three teams of deputies executed 45 warrants. In many cases, some parents not up to date on their child support were arrested, while others were not home.
"All his stuff is there, utilize are in his name, his clothing and stuff is everywhere but the occupants are saying they're cousins and family members but he's in Montana," Scott said.
Scott says they'll follow up at a later time, but for now they'll attempt to serve another warrant.
At the next stop deputies, arrested 32-year old Jedadiah Paul Aguilar. NewsChannel 11 asked, "Why didn't you pay your child support?" Aguilar said, "Living from job to job you know. You know I haven't had a chance to get a good job you know.
NewsChannel 11 asked, "So have you been out looking for a job?" "Of course," Aguilar added.
Sheriff David Gutierrez says he works closely with the Texas Attorney General's Office to arrest those parents behind on child support.
"Not only will we be out looking for them but if they get stopped, if they go get their drivers license renewed their name will be checked in the computer and these warrants will pop up and they'll get arrested," Gutierrez said.
Aguilar is one of the 24 parents arrested during this roundup. One of them owed more than $63,000 in unpaid child support. The Attorney General's Office collected more than $2.6 billion in unpaid child support state wide this fiscal year and $56 million of that was collected from Lubbock county parents.
"We must take care of them and in our part in the law enforcement world it's to assist them, the Attorney General's Office through the courts the civil courts on child support contempt orders that they are in violation," Gutierrez said.
Back out on the street, deputies Scott and Gonzales knock on the doors and windows of this home in 45-hundred block of 38th street. While a car is in the driveway, it appears no one is home. For now, the team decides to leave but Scott says as long as the warrant stands they'll come back.
"It's much easier if they just paid their child support for having these kids. If they don't we'll help them along the way," Scott added.
Corporal Scott tells us that when they returned they did make an arrest in the 45-hundred block of 38th street. Parents arrested on civil warrants could face up to six months in jail.
For those with outstanding child support warrants should contact the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office at 775-1493.
Meanwhile parents, who have fallen behind on child support payments, are encouraged to call the Attorney General's Child Support Division at 1-800-252-8014 to work something out.
|Courts & Crime|