A man allegedly drowned his infant son after leaving him in a tub of running water while he argued with his wife on the phone.
According to People, Raymond Licon, Jr., a former off-duty El Paso police officer, purportedly left his 11-month-old son, Azrael Ezekiel Licon, alone in the heat of an argument with his estranged wife.
The 27-year-old was distracted by a text he received from his estranged wife and allegedly left his son in a bathtub of running water as he argued with his wife for over 45 minutes on the phone. Cell phone records obtained by KXAN revealed that the two-year veteran of the El Paso Police Department was speaking to his wife around 8:34 p.m.
Licon only realized that he had forgotten his son in the tub after water had flooded the bathroom and was dripping through the ceiling into the first floor of the apartment. Licon tried to administer CPR on his 11-month-old son before first respondents arrived on the scene.
Phone records show that he called emergency services when he found his son unresponsive at 9:19 pm.
The infant later died at a hospital.
The 27-year-old would later tell a neighbor as well as responding officers that he forgot his son in a bathtub and accepted full responsibility for his actions. Licon, who has since been relieved of duty, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in the death of Azrael.
George Montenegro, Azreal’s maternal grandfather, revealed in an interview with KVIA that the 11-month-old was born premature at seven months, but was a tough boy who hardly cried. He added that the infant’s death had devastated the family.
“He was born premature at seven months but he’s a kid I never saw cry. He was an angel. Everybody is broke down, my daughter is going crazy.”
Montenegro confirmed that his daughter and Licon were in the process of getting a divorce when the tragic incident occurred. According to the grandfather, their second child, a 2-year-old girl lost a tooth in a bathtub while in Licon’s custody. Montenegro believes the death of Azrael should not be ruled as an accident.
“His daughter broke a tooth in the bathtub…in the bathtub. I mean c’mon you’re a police officer. The first time it happens to you OK but a second time no…it’s not a coincidence.”
Jail records show that the 27-year-old former police officer allegedly left Azrael in a tub June 20, but was arrested July 10 and posted bond the same day. Montenegro worries that the former El Paso cop might get a slap on the wrist for his actions. The grandfather also faulted the charge brought against his former son-in-law, arguing that the death of his grandson should not be seen as a tragic accident.
Montenegro argued that it was unthinkable to leave a baby who could not stand or sit up, unattended in a tub of running water. Azrael’s grandfather said if he was unsatisfied with how the state handled the case, he would go to the FBI.
[Featured Image by Badahos/Thinkstock]