Gavel

When a Nogales police officer found three toddlers running in the street without adult supervision, he immediately followed up with a welfare check on the children. During a walk-through of their home, the officer found that the kids were living in filthy and dangerous conditions, which led to multiple criminal charges against the children’s 27-year-old father.

The father, David Bojorquez, of Rio Rico, was sentenced on June 7 at Santa Cruz County Superior Court to five years in state prison. He pleaded guilty to two Class 4 felony counts of domestic violence involving abuse of a child or vulnerable adult, with circumstances likely to produce death or serious physical injury. He also pleaded guilty to one count of weapons misconduct, a Class 4 felony.

At the time of his crime, Bojorquez was already serving a 2-year probation term for one Class 6 felony count of domestic violence, aggravated assault. His probation was revoked on June 7 and he was sentenced to one year in prison.

Bojorquez will serve both of his prison terms at the same time for a total of five years. He was given credit for 118 days served.

The child abuse charges stem from Feb. 10, when Bojorquez left his three children unsupervised, allowing them to exit the apartment and roam onto the streets alone. An NPD officer who was patrolling the area noticed the children – later confirmed to be ages 2, 3 and 4 – and followed them into Bojorquez’s apartment.

In Bojorquez’s presentence report, the NPD officer noted that the front door to the apartment was left fully open, but no one answered the officer’s knocks on the door. While the officer waited for additional help, the documents state, two of the children walked out onto the street again.

The two children were later put in the back of a police car for safety reasons while the officers conducted a welfare check inside the home.

During the walk-through, the officers found what appeared to be feces smeared on the walls, piles of clothes scattered around the floor, and a foul odor of rotten food and urine throughout the apartment. The kitchen was dirty and the fridge was full of rotten food, and there was nothing fresh that the kids could’ve been eating.

The officers also discovered a knife, a bag with marijuana, a white rectangular pill and a shotgun with one shell inside the chamber – all easily accessible to the children.

The officers noted in the report that “the apartment was not in livable conditions” and the children were endangered by being exposed to the environment.

Inside a bedroom, the officers found the third child sitting on a bed next to a sleeping man, later identified as Bojorquez, who was unaware that the kids had left the home while he was sleeping. He admitted to smoking marijuana and taking half a Xanax in front of his kids earlier that day, then falling asleep.

The officers arrested and booked Bojorquez into the Santa Cruz County Detention Center with several charges of child abuse. The three kids were taken to a hospital for further treatment, then turned over to Child Protective Services.

In his statement, Bojorquez said that his apartment had been in filthy conditions because a cousin and a few friends had visited him and “trashed his apartment” that same week. He said he understood that he had put his kids at risk with his poor decisions, but wanted to fulfill all requirements to regain custody of his children.

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