Dominique Edwards was driving home late Tuesday when he saw something he won’t soon forget — a 2-year-old toddling along the feeder road to North Freeway in Harris County.
“I see one car kind of swerve out of the way. And then I see what they are dodging: a child, a toddler,” he told KTRK. “Then I just instantly kind of break down. I parked my car, I hop out and I grab her. As I’m running to her, she is opening her arms.”
He called authorities then posted a video to social media to see if anyone could help identify the girl.
“I can’t stop crying. I don’t even know what to think right now,” he said in the video, per KPRC. “I’m praying to God it’s some kind of mistake.”
Police arrived to take the girl then started checking nearby hotels, according to KTRK. They soon found a room with an open door at a Super 8.
An 8-year-old boy and his 3-year-old brother were asleep inside, KHOU reported.
The kids told police the 2-year-old was their sister and that they had no idea where their mom was, according to the outlet.
Authorities waited for the kids’ mother to return. When 27-year-old Juliana Gomez arrived, she told police she’d left her three kids in the hotel room while she went to grab dinner with a friend, KHOU reported.
Gomez was arrested and taken to the Harris County Jail, according to KTRK.
She’s charged with abandoning or endangering a child with intent to return, court records show.
She has since posted bond and is due back in court Wednesday.
The children were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services, per KPRC.
Edwards said he’s just glad he could help.
“I’m not one to judge, everyone makes mistakes. Just learn from that and come back stronger,” he told KPRC. “I’m just a dad. I’m a father. I would hope if my kids were in that situation anyone else would do the same thing.”