A 28-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were arrested after police say they left their children in a running vehicle in the Texas Roadhouse parking lot while they were drinking inside the restaurant.
Joseph Lewis Belis, 28, and Cassidy Nicole Belis, 27, were each charged with abandoning a child with intent to return, a state jail felony.
Police say the couple were arrested March 5 at Texas Roadhouse located at 4221 N. Grandview Avenue, an Odessa Police Department probable cause affidavit stated.
When officers arrived at the scene, they say they saw the Escalade on the south side of the business with the engine running. Officers saw a child in the back seat of the vehicle unattended and all windows rolled up.
Officers contacted Tiffany Stuart, who stated she arrived at the business around 7 p.m. and saw the vehicle running, the affidavit stated. Stuart stated at around 8 p.m. she stepped out and saw children inside the vehicle and called 911.
Texas Roadhouse personnel made an announcement in reference to the Escalade and were able to contact Joseph Belis and Cassidy Belis who are the parents of the children, the affidavit detailed. Joseph Belis told police they arrived at the restaurant around 6:45 p.m. and they were alternating to go to the bathroom. Joseph Belis stated they then all went inside the restaurant and Cassidy Belis later took the children to the vehicle.
Joseph Belis stated his 7-year-old child had a phone and could call if needed, the affidavit stated. Cassidy Belis didn’t waive her rights.
Further investigation showed a child exited the vehicle at an unknown time and left the other child alone in the vehicle for an unknown amount of time, the affidavit detailed. Investigation also showed that Joseph Belis and Cassidy Belis were consuming alcohol inside Texas Roadhouse.
Joseph Belis and Cassidy Belis had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from their breath and person, the affidavit stated. An inventory of the vehicle resulted in locating under two ounces of marijuana in the center console.
Joseph Belis and Cassidy Belis were each arrested and transported to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center on March 6, jail records show. Joseph Belis and Cassidy Belis each had one bond totaling $7,500 and posted bail on March 6.