Crime

California father suspected of abandoning 6-year-old daughter in car is rescued from ocean

Here’s what to do when you hear a siren

The crews at Modesto Fire Station No. 5 responded to 4,200 calls last year. Whether it be a fire engine, a police officer or an ambulance, if its lights and sirens are on, here are the basics for yielding to emergency vehicles.
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The crews at Modesto Fire Station No. 5 responded to 4,200 calls last year. Whether it be a fire engine, a police officer or an ambulance, if its lights and sirens are on, here are the basics for yielding to emergency vehicles.

A 39-year-old Carpinteria father who allegedly abandoned his young daughter for hours on Monday had to be rescued from the ocean by the U.S. Coast Guard after officials say he swam away from them, according to a news release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 11:30 p.m. Monday, authorities responded to reports of a six-year-old girl crying and looking for her father, according to the release.

Her father reportedly pulled over to use the bathroom at Viola Fields, a park in the 6100 block of Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria, and left the child in the vehicle for hours, the Sheriff’s Office said.

According to the release, the child eventually got out and went looking for her dad in the dark parking lot, eventually finding a custodian at a business in the 6200 block of Carpinteria Avenue and asking for help.

When authorities arrived, they began searching for her father, identified by the Sheriff’s Office as German Noe Sotelo.

After searching the area, deputies couldn’t find Sotelo and called in a K-9 team and a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office helicopter to help with the search, according to the release.

The helicopter crew spotted Sotelo walking along the beach, the release said.

When Sotelo saw the helicopter, he jumped into the ocean and started to swim away, according to the release.

Sotelo, who was in the water for more than an hour, was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and taken to a local hospital for treatment, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Once Sotelo is released, he will be taken to the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of child endangerment, the release said.

The girl was frightened but not hurt, the Sheriff’s Office said. She was reunited with her mother after Santa Barbara County Child Welfare Services responded and spoke to both of them.

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