Man allegedly abandons 6-year-old son to go into adult bookstore in Texas

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Man faces child endangerment charges after allegedly abandoning a 6-year-old boy to visit an adult bookstore.

Police are searching for a man who allegedly abandoned a 6-year-old boy outside an adult bookstore in Houston earlier this month.

When Diamond Hawkins started his work day at a tattoo parlor on March 1, he said he noticed a little boy outside.

"He was sitting in the truck and I didn't pay much attention because we have a business next door that sells cars. I thought his dad was next door buying a car or something," Hawkins said.

Hours went by and Hawkins noticed the boy was still there after someone asked him if the child belonged to one of his customers.

"He was scared, real nervous, didn't know where his dad was or anything. He wouldn't talk to us at first and once he started talking to us, we got him some food and put a movie on for him," Hawkins said.

Charging documents allege the father, Darnell Washington, left the child alone without food, water or supervision, to visit an adult bookstore.

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Darnell Washington is charged with child endangerment

Customer Mardee Paige, who was getting a tattoo along with her best friend to celebrate their 70th birthdays, said Washington shouldn't have a child.

Police interviewed the father who, according to charging documents, said he had "been drinking earlier in the day" and he had "four shots" of whiskey. He added he had "four to five shots of tequila" and claimed he passed out later.

Inside the tattoo parlor employees kept watch over the boy until police and firefighters arrived.

"Thank God for the people who did that. Who knows what would have happened had somebody not brought him over here," Paige said.

The father wasn't spotted until a couple days later.

"He came in and was asking about his car. Wasn't too concerned about the kid but said, 'Hey did you have a car towed, where's my car?'" Hawkins said.

Washington now faces a felony charge of endangering a child. Police are searching for him to arrest him.

CPS said the boy was taken into their custody initially, but has now been placed with other members of the family.
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