LOS ANGELES, CA- Relatives of 4-year-old, Noah Cuatro who was allegedly tortured and slain by parents Jose Maria Cuatro Jr., 28 and Urusla Elain Juarez, 26 back in 2019, filed a death suit Wednesday against Los Angles County.
The death, which was originally reported as a “drowning”, resulted in criminal charges being filed against Noah’s parents.
Both were indicted on each count of murder and torture in Noah’s death almost one year ago.
Noah’s great-grandmother, Evangelina Hernandez, brought the case to the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of herself and Noah’s siblings, a sister and two brothers who are all still minors.
In addition to Los Angeles County, Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services is being named as an additional defendant because the allegedly knew of or suspected the abuse and misconduct occurring in Noah’s home.
Noah had previously been sent to the agency by the county Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for mental health services and according to the suit, they failed to report the abuse. The DCFS previously issued a statement regarding Noah’s death:
“At any given time, the Department of Children and Family Services serves more than 34,000 families and vulnerable children in Los Angeles County with an unwavering commitment to pursue child safety every day in our communities.”
“Our 9,000 employees are committed to this mission, and we look to do everything possible to safeguard the children entrusted to our care.”
Yet, according to the law suit, Noah’s death occurred AFTER multiple reports of abuse had already been made the county DCFS. the lawsuit also alleges that after Noah’s death, DCFS social workers made threats against Hernandez in an attempt to silence her. Allegedly, the social workers told Hernandez:
“That if she made any public statements about Noah’s case and/or potential lawsuits, she would lose her request for guardianship of her other three great-grandchildren and would never see them again.”
In addition to the indictment charges of murder and torture, the boy’s father was also charged with one count each of assault on a child causing death and a newly added count of sexual penetration of a child under 10, with the indictment alleging that the latter crime occurred on the same day Noah was attacked.
Noah’s mother was also additional charged with one count of child abuse under circumstances likely to cause death. The lawsuit alleges:
“Instead of protecting Noah and his siblings, DCFS continued to place the children with their abusive parents, where the children continued to be abused over the course of several years.”
Noah’s parents reported a “drowning” in their family pool back on July 5, 2019, but Noah’s injuries later raised suspicions about how he died. Medical staff found the trauma he had suffered inconsistent with drowning.
Noah was first taken to Palmdale Regional Medical Center and then to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he was pronounced dead on July 6, 2019.
Noah’s parents were arrested on September 26, 2019 and appeared in court the following Monday. Prosecutors said:
“Noah had fresh blood in his rear end, a fractured vertebrae, lacerations on his liver, fractured ribs, and bruises all over his body.”
Back in May 2019, a removal order that could have taken Noah out of his abusive home was issued, but never executed. The order was submitted and approved by a judge.
Noah died almost two months after the order was issued. Noah’s horrible death comes a few years after the tragic death of Gabriel Fernandez, who died at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend when he was just 8-years-old. Gabriel also lived in Los Angeles and was seen multiple times by social workers from DCFS.
Anthony Avalos, 10-years old, suffered a fatal brain bleed on the brain after his mother and her boyfriend allegedly dangled him from high above and repeatedly dropped him on his head. Anthony lived in Los Angeles and had also been under the supervision of DCFS.
Police: Illegal immigrants tie up and keep six-year old boy in shed because he stole food from them
DALLAS, TX – Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed that two illegal immigrants living in Dallas were arrested this week in connection with child abuse of a six-year old.
Esmeralda Lira, 53, and her boyfriend Jose Balderas, 66, both Mexican nationals, were allegedly holding Lira’s six-year old grandson in their shed. More specifically, the young boy was living tied up in the shed, which was filled with rats and insects.
— Jayden j (@jaydenj_j) May 12, 2020
When police first contacted her on a welfare check after receiving a tip, Lira told them that the boy was with his mother. When they said they would break down the door to the shed, Lira finally opened the door for them.
Police found him with his hands tied behind his back.
Dallas Police arrests 53 year old Esmeralda Lira and her boyfriend 64 year old Jose Balderas after discovering 6 year old grandson tied up in a shed. https://t.co/Bq1X5Udzqg
— The Tornado News (@TheTornadoNews) May 12, 2020
The child had allegedly been living in the shed for at least two weeks. Lira first said that the boy was only in the shed once as a punishment, but Balderas said that he had been their for two weeks because he stole food.
Balderas said the abuse started after the boy “got out of school for the corona thing.”
Police in Dallas received a tip that a young boy was being abused. Officers arrived at the home of 53-yr-old Esmeralda Lira and her boyfriend on Sunday night to conduct a welfare check. The grandmother (Lira) told police the boy was with his mother https://t.co/ORHMJ7HbB0
— Beth (@Boytbab) May 13, 2020
Breitbart News reported the following:
“The boy told police that when Lira left the residence, she would tie him up, tell him he had been bad, and put him in the outdoor shed. The boy also said he was never allowed indoors, being locked up at night and released in the morning.”
The boy allegedly used a plastic bag for a bathroom and a hose for a bath. The boy also said that Lira kicked him and grabbed him by the ears.
The two are facing charges of child endangerment. ICE has said that they placed detainers on both Lira and Balderas so that they can place them into custody should they be released from jail on their $100,000 bail.
The whereabouts of the boy’s mother has not been reported.
Law Enforcement Today reported on another illegal immigrant committing dangerous crimes, also in Texas last week.
Here it is again in case you missed it.
Law Enforcement Today has just learned that the suspect who shot at the Houston Police choppers assisting with the first HPD helicopter crash was an illegal immigrant, according to court documents.
Josue Daniel Claros-Trajedo is a 19-year old Honduran national. After a HPD helicopter, 75-Fox, crashed on May 2, two other HPD choppers responded to assist with lighting for the ground units attempting to free the two officers trapped inside the crashed chopper.
— Houston Police Officers' Union (@HPOUTX) May 8, 2020
The crash unfortunately claimed the life of 35-year-old Tactical Flight Officer Jason Knox and seriously injured the pilot, 35-year-old Senior Officer Chase Cormier, whose injuries included a broken back.
Claros-Trajedo fired five shots from two locations at the backup helicopters on scene for the crash.
Prosecutor Sean Teare said:
“We have surveillance video showing him [Claros-Trajedo] firing at the helicopters, yes. That’s unacceptable.”
The downed helicopter had originally responded to a call of two bodies in a bayou, although no bodies were ever reported to have been found.
There were reports of gunshots being fired at Knox and Cormier’s helicopter prior to the crash, and Police Chief Art Acevedo said that six people have been arrested. It’s not clear if Claros-Trajedo is one of those six.
Additionally, it’s not believed that the cause of the crash was gunshots, but Chief Acevedo has said they aren’t ruling anything out and no cause has been determined.
There were several videos captured by onlookers on the ground that showed the helicopter hovering in the air, when it started to spin out of control, losing altitude quickly.
The chopper crashed into the leasing office of the Biscayne Apartments in the 17000 block of Imperial Valley, but Cormier was able to avoid hitting any of the apartments, which undoubtedly saved countless lives.
This is Houston Police Officer's Jason Knox and Chase Cormier. Jason was killed Friday night when their helicopter went down and Chase suffered a broken back. Please pray for Jason's family as their suffering with this terrible loss and please pray for Chase with his recovery. pic.twitter.com/On5AgZwQXT
— Jeff Brieden (@sheffery) May 3, 2020
“According to court documents, Claros-Trajedo fired the firearm “close in time and proximity to when an HPD helicopter crashed into an apartment building.”
“Acevedo said LifeFlight also reported gunshots while responding to the deadly helicopter crash. While the surviving officer was being loaded into an ambulance, Claros-Trajedo fired five more shots into the air, per the court documents.
“Claros-Trajedo hid firearms in an air vent in his apartment after he was seen, according to court documents. Officials said he admitted to discharging his firearm in an upward direction while drunk.”
Here’s Law Enforcement Today’s original report.
Police say that a 19-year-old Honduran national was arrested for discharging a firearm numerous times toward police helicopters that were responding to the fatal helicopter crash that Law Enforcement Today told you about on May 2nd.
— Raymond E. Foster (@policeofficer) May 9, 2020
The crash occurred some time before 2:00 a.m. on May 2nd. A Houston Police Department helicopter that hosted two officers plummeted to the ground, killing one of the officer onboard.
While authorities are uncertain as to what may have caused the helicopter to crash, it was said that it killed 35-year-old Tactical Flight Officer Jason Knox. The pilot, 35-year-old Senior Officer Chase Cormier, was critically injured as well and is currently at a rehab clinic for his injuries.
Great news! Just received word from Officer Chase Cormier that he will be transferred from Memorial Hermann to TIRR this afternoon, as he continues to push forward in his recovery from the helicopter accident. TIRR is the best rehab hospital in the world, Chase is in good hands.
— Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) May 8, 2020
When two other police choppers from the HPD were responding to the crash, a series of gunshots began to ring off in the direction of the responding aerial units. A radio transmission at the time stated the following:
“Shots fired. Shots fired… we got a security guard that says people are actually shooting at the helicopters that are responding here.”
Authorities say that Josue Daniel Claros-Trajedo was the man responsible for shooting toward police helicopters responding to the scene of the wreckage.
Prosecutor Sean Teare commented on some of the evidence obtained that allegedly implicates Claros-Trajedo as the individual responsible:
“We have surveillance video showing [Claros-Trajedo] firing at the helicopters.”
Man accused of firing gun at helicopters responding to a police helicopter crash in Houston, Texas https://t.co/FKsXPIZkgX
— FOX 10 Phoenix (@FOX10Phoenix) May 9, 2020
Investigators say that the suspect fired at least five rounds toward the helicopters from two different areas. Court records indicate that the suspect had firearms hidden within the air vent of his apartment, which police recovered. Police suspect they now have the one used in the crime in their possession.
At the time of his arrest, Claros-Trajedo reportedly told investigators that he was firing his weapon into the air while intoxicated.
The suspect is now being held on a $100,000 bond. In Texas, a conviction of aggravated assault on a public servant can land someone in prison from 5 to 99 years per count.
While luckily no one was injured during the gunfire, a conviction against Claros-Trajedo could give the accused a healthy amount of time to reflect on why indiscriminately firing a weapon in the air is always a terrible idea.
Earlier this month, we reported on the crash in question that took the life of TFO Jason Knox . Here’s the original report we ran in case you missed it.
(Original May 2nd report)
Police have now released the identity of the officers involved in an overnight helicopter crash that left one dead and another fighting for his life.
It happened at an apartment complex in north Houston, according to police.
Chief Art Acevedo told media outlets that Jason Knox was the tactical flight officer involved in the crash who later died at the hospital.
We’re told his father is Houston councilmember at-large Mike Knox.
Acevedo described Jason Knox as a “good man.”
“If someone would have told me, a few hours later, we would have an aircraft down,” Acevedo said. “We would lose a really good man. I would have said no way.”
Houston police are also asking the public to pray for senior police officer Chase Cormier, who was airlifted to Memorial Hermann hospital and underwent surgery Saturday morning.
He’s currently listed in critical condition.
“We are hopeful that he will survive,” Acevedo said.
Houston Police say that Cormier was sworn in as an HPD officer in July 2006, and is assigned to the Air & Marine Division.
Mayor Sylvester Turner held a news conference at the Texas Medical Center Saturday and described it as a “bad morning”.
“I ask for the city of Houston to continue to lift up both families, especially lift up the family of the police officer that has died… At the same time, lift up the entire HPD family.”
The aircraft went down just before 2 a.m. at the Greenspoint apartment complex, in the 17000 block of Imperial Valley near Benmar.
It reportedly involved a crime scene unit that was investigating a murder case.
Someone captured video footage from the ground, showing the aircraft starting to spin out of control before crashing.
According to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, it was flying over a bayou where there were reports of bodies in the water when it went down.
Houston firefighters rushed out to free the two officers from the wreckage.
“They responded right before 2 a.m. and within minutes we got reports from the Houston Forensic Science Center crime scene unit that was working a murder scene at the 17000 block of Imperial Valley that our helicopter had gone down,” Acevedo said.
— City of Houston (@HoustonTX) May 2, 2020
Firefighters “worked feverishly to extricate and cut the pilots out. They literally had to cut the pilots out of the wreckage,” Acevedo said.
Just before 6 a.m. local time, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the death of one officer and said the second who was on board is in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
“We need prayers for these officers,” Acevedo said.
We’re told the helicopter crashed into a clubhouse building at that apartment complex.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) May 2, 2020
According to Acevedo, the pilot managed to avoid hitting the apartment buildings. He said it undoubtedly would have resulted in more people being killed.
“The wreckage was pretty significant,” Acevedo said. “There were no flames involved and that’s been a blessing. And the silver lining. The other silver lining was the pilot was able to avoid the apartment buildings.”
Nobody inside the apartment complex or on the ground was hurt.
“They were able to avoid going into the actual apartment buildings where people were sleeping and were able to, basically, they clipped a part of the clubhouse,” Acevedo said.
It’s unclear at this point what caused the accident, but according to Acevedo, the department is going to stop any more flights until further notice.
We do know that during the investigation, at approximately 3 a.m., shots were fired nearby. Officers arrested three people – but we’re now told it appears to be unrelated to the crash.
We’re told that the Houston Police Department will be conducting the investigation along with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Agency… and it’s being approached as a homicide investigation.
“We have lost one of our own,” Acevedo said. “We won’t leave any stone unturned as part of our investigation until the cause of this crash. We will look at it from a criminal standpoint to make sure there was no criminal activity that led to this tragic incident.”
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