A man suspected of driving while intoxicated Sunday evening has been charged with child abuse for having two children along for the ride.
Charles Joseph Apodaca, 26, of the 3900 block of Dona Ana Road, is charged with one count of child abuse, a third-degree felony, and three misdemeanors including driving while under the influence, driving while license suspended or revoked, and operating a motor vehicle with an open container.
About 10 p.m. Sunday, July 22, a Las Cruces police officer spotted a white Ford Focus strike a curb on north Telshor Boulevard. The officer turned his unit around, activated the unit’s emergency equipment and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle which pulled into the parking lot of a local business.
As the officer pulled in behind the Focus, he observed the driver exit the vehicle and start walking away. The officer gave commands for the man to stop but he didn’t. The officer was able to detain the man, later identified as Apodaca, and noticed a strong odor of alcohol emitting from him. In the Ford Focus as passengers were two young boys, a 10-year-old and a 3-year-old. The officer found an open can of beer in a cup holder and another open beer on the front passenger seat.
Apodaca was subsequently arrested for DUI. It was later determined that Apodaca was driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
Apodaca was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he was initially held without bond.