Fresno Father Arrested for Child Endangerment

April 8, 2009 6:08:44 PM PDT
Fresno Police rushed to a home on East Carmen Avenue near Fresno City College Wednesday after getting a call about a father and daughter inside a home filling up with natural gas. Lieutenant Herman Silva said, "At about noon today we received a call from a 16 year old girl who said her dad was trying to commit suicide." Silva added that 40 year old Lorenzo Robles wanted to take his 8 year old little girl down with him.

The teen told 911 her dad wouldn't let her back in the house. She heard a loud hissing sound and smelled gas. Inside, police said Robles turned his gas stove on but didn't light it. Silva said, "He could have easily ignited the residence and we would have had a major explosion."

When police got to the house the smell of gas was so strong they had to back away. Then, Robles refused to come out or even let his daughter out. That's when police started evacuating the neighborhood. Next door neighbor Julian Martinez said, "They knocked on the door and said we need you to grab whatever you can and get out."

With time running out police repeatedly called the home until Robles finally answered. Lt. Silva said, "Officers were able to convince him that no matter what he was going through it didn't merit him taking his life and the life of his child."

Both father and daughter were ok when they walked out but after being exposed to gas fumes for at least 20 minutes paramedics treated the child on the scene. Robles told police financial problems had driven him over the edge. Martinez, told Action News, "He seems like a calm guy. We've had discussions with him before over stuff and he handles his business pretty well."

Neighbors say Robles may have several other children and they're not sure why he did this with his 8 year old. Police say he's being charged with felony child endangerment.

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