Police arrested a 33-year-old Dallas man after authorities say they found five malnourished children living in filthy and neglected conditions in an apartment in the northeast section of the city.
According to the Dallas Morning News, officers were called to the apartment last week after someone reported hearing a baby crying for a long time. When officers knocked and attempted to turn the doorknob, John Moton yelled, “What do you want?” through the door, before informing officers that there were five children in the residence but that everything was OK, an arrest warrant affidavit indicated.
When Moton finally did open the door, officers reported that they could tell within seconds that the apartment was filthy and smelled of feces. They saw four of the children, but when they asked about the fifth, Moton came outside and shut the door behind him. Police say thatMoton declined to identify himself or any of the children, going in and out of the apartment multiple times. The third time he walked out, he carried one child with him.
According to authorities, Moton refused to put the child down and took an “aggressive stance” while clenching one of his fists. However, one officer was able to grab his wrist, while the other took the child.
The affidavit says that Moton continued to ignore the officers’ orders and attempted to pull away while keeping one hand at his waistband. One officer ended up using his stun gun on Moton, and officers handcuffed him.
Upon entering the apartment, officers reported finding “deplorable” conditions, saying that the smell of feces and rotting food made it hard to “walk through [the unit] without vomiting.” The lights in the apartment were also out and there was no air conditioning.
Officers found three of the children on a couch in the living room surrounded by feces. A dog was tied up to a fireplace feet away, while the remaining child was in a crib wearing a dirty diaper.
In their report, officers said they found feces and rotten food in a downstairs bathroom; rotten food in a bed upstairs; a makeshift playpen in one bedroom closet; blankets covered in rotten food; food that was generally inedible in the refrigerator; an empty pantry; and roaches, flies and gnats throughout the apartment.
The five children—three girls ages 5, 4 and 3 and two boys ages 2 and 1—were taken into the custody of Texas Child Protective Services.
Moton—whose relationship to the children was not made clear—is currently facing charges of abandoning or endangering a child, criminal negligence, resisting arrest and failing to identify as a fugitive. He reportedly had an outstanding speeding warrant out of Benbrook, Texas.
His bail was set at $9,750.
Read more at the Dallas Morning News.