Drunken Dad Lied About Stolen Car With Baby Inside: Cops

Police arrested a New Haven dad who reported that someone stole his car with his baby daughter inside on Monday night.

Police raced to the area to search and found the car and baby one street away and there was no sign of a theft, police said.

Juan Santos, 37, called police just after 7:30 p.m. on Monday and said the 2010 Nissan he parked behind his George Street apartment was gone, police said.
He said he had returned home with his 9-month-old daughter and pet dog, but didn’t have a key for the back door, so  he walked around to the front door, police said.

When he got back outside, the car with his baby daughter still inside was gone, Santos told police.

Police began searching. They noted that two dogs were inside Santos' apartment and his breath smelled like alcohol, according to a news release.

Eighteen minutes after the search began, it was over.

Officers Michael Pepe and Michael Lozada found the car parked on North Frontage Road near Dwight Street. The baby was inside, the doors were all locked and the engine was cold, police said.

The Fire Department then responded to open the truck door and the baby, though uninjured, was taken to the hospital to be checked.

Witnesses would go on to tell police that they’d seen the truck parked there since about 6 p.m. and none of them knew that a baby was locked inside, according to police.

When police led Santos to his truck to speak with detectives, he had the keys in his pocket, police said.

Police called the baby's mother at work and she said Santos had not called her to tell her what was happening.

When she heard, she left work and went to the hospital to be with her baby.

Police said they believe Santos lied when he reported the truck stolen.

He  was arrested and charged with risk of injury to a child, falsely reporting an incident in the first degree and reckless endangerment in the first degree.

The state Department of Children and Families is has begun its investigation.

It is not clear whether Santos has an attorney. NBC Connecticut was not able to find a phone listing for Santos in New Haven.

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