Santa Cruz police arrested Wednesday evening the 28-year-old father of a 15-month-old child who was found to have ingested methamphetamine earlier this week. Jeremy Ochoa was arrested for child endangerment after the incident, which occurred Monday when the boy was taken to Dominican Hospital by his mother after exhibiting strange behavior, according to police. Hospital staff called police later that night after the child’s urine revealed traces of methamphetamine.
Detectives believe Ochoa was the source of the drugs, which the child inadvertently accessed in the home when Ochoa visited it on Monday. Ochoa and the child’s mother are separated, police said. Ochoa admitted he was under the influence of methamphetamine during the visit, and when the child’s mother discovered he was under the influence, she kicked him out of the house, according to police. It was shortly after Ochoa’s visit that the child began acting unusual. He has since recovered and was released to the custody of Child Protective Services Wednesday. He did not display any sign of injury or
abuse, police said. Ochoa was found and arrested on Wednesday. He was currently on probation for drug-related offenses, according to police. Child Protective Services will retain custody of the child until a custody hearing later this month.
Capt. Steve Clark said in a statement that the “number one priority in a case of this nature is to ensure the child is safe and no longer exposed to a dangerous situation or location.” Clark said, “Our subsequent investigation is intended to address
accountability for those responsible in creating the dangerous situation.”
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