A Child Protective Services investigation led to the arrest of a 29-year-old man accused of hitting an 8-year-old boy in the face with a belt and telling the boy to lie about the incident, an arrest affidavit states.
Ramiro Salazar-Mares, of West, was arrested after police were called to West Elementary School on April 30, when an 8-year-old boy said his step-father, Salazar-Mares, hit him in the face with a belt, according to the affidavit.
The boy had made several statements to educators about the apparent injury to his face, the affidavit states.
Police and CPS opened an investigation into the alleged abuse, and officials went to the boy's home to interview family members. The boy's younger sister told a CPS investigator the boy had been saying "bad words," and Salazar-Mares became upset and hit the boy in the face with a belt, the affidavit states. The belt buckle hit the boy in the face, causing an injury, according to the document.
The boy's mother told investigators the boy tripped on clothing and fell, which caused the injury, the affidavit states. Because of the inconsistent statements, authorities conducted a forensic interview with the boy and his sister.
"During the interview of both children it became apparent that both children has been instructed on what to say," the affidavit states. "Both of the children gave the story that both (the children's mother) and Ramiro had given to (investigators)."
Salazar-Mares was arrested Wednesday on a state jail felony charge of injury to a child and taken to McLennan County Jail, where he remained Thursday with bond listed at $5,000. He also was being held on an immigration detainer.
West Police Chief Darryl Barton said CPS investigators are continuing to investigate the incident.