A man from Kingman was arrested for child abuse after allegedly leaving his 10-year-old daughter in the desert on Saturday.
Christopher Charles Watson, 28, was arrested on one count of felony domestic child abuse after a woman called 911 on Saturday morning, claiming she had found a girl crying and walking by herself in the 91-degree heat.
According to authorities, the incident with his daughter began about 9 a.m. Saturday when a woman called 911 after she spotted the girl, dressed in pajamas, crying and walking barefoot on asphalt along the outskirts of Kingman, Arizona.
The temperature at the time was 91 degrees.
The girl told investigators that her father allegedly drove her out to the desert that morning and left her there after he got mad at her over an incident with a pen.
“She placed the pen in the driver’s seat, and he wanted it in a certain spot and apparently she didn’t put it in the correct spot,” Carter says. “She [the girl] said he got angry with her and he put her in the car and drove at a high rate of speed onto a dirt road into the desert.”
The girl told authorities that Watson then allegedly forced her out of the truck and she hit her head when she reached for the door handle, according to a news release obtained by PEOPLE.
After Watson allegedly sped off, his daughter walked for about 30 minutes before she came upon the woman who alerted authorities. “[The woman] asked the little girl why she was crying and she said that her dad left her,” the press release states. The woman said she walked the girl to her house and called the sheriff’s office.
The girl was transported to Kingman Regional Medical Center, where she was treated and placed into the custody of Department of Child Safety.
Deputies arrived at Watson’s home and woke him from a nap — they say that he smelled of alcohol. The father claimed he and his daughter were arguing when he decided to take her for a ride in his truck, which he says has helped calm her down in the past.
He admitted to authorities that he had dropped her off without any water or shoes but said he returned home and waited only about 15 minutes before going back to get her. However, Watson was unable to find the girl when he returned to the desert.
The Department of Child Safety has taken custody of both the victim and Watson’s 9-year-old son.
Article Sources: Liftable
Video Credit: 12News