Douglas County prosecutors have filed charges against a 39-year-old Lawrence man in connection with a September incident in which the man’s son fell from the back of a pickup truck.
District attorney Charles Branson has charged Juan Alonzo Velasco with two counts of child endangerment, driving under the influence and failing to secure a load on a truck.
According to a Lawrence police report, a breath test estimated Velasco’s blood-alcohol content was more than 2.5 times the legal limit after the Sept. 25 accident.
The accident occurred at 9:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of East 30th Street after the westbound truck hit a bump in the street and a portable basketball goal fell from the back of the pickup. Velasco’s 12-year-old son, who was trying to secure the basketball goal, also fell to the street.
Velasco stopped the truck, picked up his son and rushed him to the family’s home about two blocks away to call for help. The 12-year-old boy was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital due to abrasions he suffered, and he was eventually transferred to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where he stayed for more than a week.
Velasco’s 16-year-old son, who also was in the back of the pickup, was not injured, according to police.
Prosecutors filed one charge of aggravated child endangerment, which is a felony, for the 12-year-old boy’s injuries, accusing Velasco of recklessly placing the boy in the dangerous situation. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment because the 16-year-old boy was in the back of the truck.
According to the DUI charge, prosecutors allege this would be his third conviction, which is also a felony.
The accident report said the breath test estimated Velasco’s blood-alcohol content was 0.218. The legal limit in Kansas is 0.08.
Branson said because Velasco had prior convictions in another state his office was waiting to get those records before making a decision about the charges.
He was freed after the original arrest, but a summons has been issued for Velasco to appear in Douglas County District Court on Nov. 30.