Carpenteria man abandons child, swims into ocean to avoid authorities

April 17, 2019

A Carpinteria man left his six-year-old daughter in a car for several hours, and upon getting tracked down by authorities, he swam away in an attempt to evade capture, but was eventually rescued and arrested on Monday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. [Cal Coast Times]

At about 11:30 p.m, the six-year-old girl was crying and looking for her father in Carpinteria. Her father had reportedly pulled over to use a bathroom at Viola Fields, located in the 6100 block of Carpinteria Avenue.

The girl waited in the car for several hours and then went searching for her farther in a dark parking lot. While walking around, the child found a custodian at a business in the 6200 block of Carpinteria Avenue and asked for help.

Deputies arrived and helped the girl search for her father, whom authorities identified as German Noe Sotelo, 39. After deputies failed to locate Sotelo, officials called in a sheriff’s K-9 team and a Ventura County Air Support helicopter.

The K-9 team track Sotelo to the Venoco Pier area. The helicopter crew then spotted Sotelo walking along the beach.

When Sotelo noticed the helicopter, he jumped into the ocean and began swimming away.

Sotelo stayed in the water for more than an hour. Ultimately, Coast Guard personnel rescued him and transported him to a local hospital for medical treatment before he was booked in jail on child endangerment charges.

Sheriff’s officials say the child was frightened but uninjured. She was reunited with her mother.

Child Welfare Services personnel came to Carpinteria and spoke with both the mother and the six-year-old girl, and then left the child in the custody of her mother.

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Hopefully he gets a nice big bill for the rescue efforts as well.