Teen, boyfriend arrested for allegedly recording toddler smoking marijuana
A San Antonio teenager and her boyfriend have been arrested after disturbing video showed a 3-year-old boy smoking marijuana, authorities said.
Larissa Contreras, 18, and her boyfriend, Thomas Rey Esquivel, 19, were taken into custody on a charge of endangering a child Thursday after Contreras posted video of the Saturday incident on social media, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters.
Salazar said he received the footage, which was posted on Facebook, directly from a local nonprofit worker on Monday showing Contreras and others encouraging her young brother to smoke a marijuana blunt.
“[It’s] very apparent that the little boy in the video was being encouraged to smoke what we now know was marijuana and was becoming physically ill as a result of it,” Salazar said. “[Contreras] and several other persons of interest were taking quite a bit of joy in that, they were laughing at it and making fun of the fact that this little boy was as sick as could be.”
A subsequent investigation into the footage led investigators to Contreras, who livestreamed some of her discussion with deputies and an apparent confession, Salazar said.
The boys’ parents left him in the care of Contreras as she watched him at a family function, Salazar said. They are not facing charges and the toddler is back at home, the sheriff said.
The footage shows a young boy with a marijuana blunt in his mouth as he sat on someone’s lap inside a car, according to KTSA.
A caption on the footage reads “lol n—a smoking a black,” the San Antonio AM radio station reports, as the child puffs away and appears to smile while posing for a photo.
People inside the car can also be heard telling the boy to smoke, Salazar said, adding that the incident appeared to be for their amusement.
“I think they thought it was just hilarious, and you can tell by watching the video they just thought it was the funniest thing ever that this little boy was smoking a blunt and coughing and getting physically ill as a result of it,” he said. “They just thought it was the funniest thing in the world, but she’s not laughing right now, is she?”
The boy took “2 or 3 hits” from the blunt after it was handed to him by Esquivel, while Contreras told him to “inhale the smoke deeply,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.
Contreras, meanwhile, is asking for forgiveness, WOAI reports.
“Please forgive me, please don’t hate me, please don’t, I love you,” she told the station moments before her arrest, admitting that “weed” was inside the blunt her brother smoked.
Contreras said the footage was taken by a man she met outside her aunt’s home late Saturday, while claiming Esquivel handed her brother the blunt, WOAI reports.
Contreras said she was inebriated at the time and wasn’t thinking straight to stop it.
“At the moment, I was high myself,” she told the station.
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