A man accused of stealing a car with a sleeping toddler inside on March 21 is in jail on $100,000 bond.
Investigators said he’d taken “a handful of pills” and did something “stupid.”
Eric Brandon Gonzalez, 35, made his initial appearance Friday in Comanche County District Court where he was charged with felony counts of child endangerment by driving under the influence and larceny of a motor vehicle, records indicate.
Lawton police received a tip that led to Gonzalez’s arrest following the bizarre incident.
Police first received the call of the stolen car around 7:40 p.m. March 21 at Chef India, 2621 Cache Road. The child’s mother told police she was out on a DoorDash order and was picking up the food; the child was asleep so she let the 2-year-old sleep and ran inside for no more than a minute or two, according to police.
Security video showed Gonzalez walk up to the Hyundai Sonata, get in and drive away.
As officers were preparing the process to issue an Amber Alert, the stolen car with the still-sleeping child was found abandoned about a mile away at 1203 NW Lawton, according to the probable cause affidavit. The child was not harmed.
Detective Andrew Grubbs stated images of the then-unknown suspect were put out through social media and the media. On March 23, an email identifying Gonzalez was received.
On May 2, Grubbs received a message from the tipster regarding Gonzalez’s whereabouts. He was contacted and came in for an interview.
Gonzalez admitted to taking the vehicle and said he didn’t remember doing it because he’d taken “a handful of pills,” the affidavit states. He also said he couldn’t believe that he did that and admitted it was stupid, according to Grubbs.
Gonzalez has four prior felony convictions in Comanche County: June 2008, feloniously pointing a firearm; January 2009, assault with a dangerous weapon; August 2013, knowingly concealing stolen property; and November 2015, possession of a firearm after former felony conviction, records indicate.
Held on $100,000 bond, Gonzalez returns to court at 3 p.m. Aug. 8 for his preliminary hearing conference.