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Police: Man arrested for child abuse and DUI after leaving baby behind on sidewalk after crash

The White Pine Police Department said Juan Cervantes was running from the scene of a crash and had left his child behind face-down on the sidewalk in the cold.

WHITE PINE, Tenn. — White Pine Police arrested a man Monday for child abuse, saying he left his infant child out in the cold on the sidewalk after crashing his vehicle and trying to run away. 

According to White Pine Police Department, officers responded to a call at the intersection of Main Street and Maple Street after a passing driver heard a baby crying and saw the infant face-down on the sidewalk outside a store around 1 a.m. Monday.

Officers said they arrived to find a man unresponsive and lying on his back in the middle of the roadway about 300 yards from the baby.

The man was taken to a hospital and the baby was taken to East Tennessee Children's Hospital with a head and neck injury, police said. 

The man was identified as Juan Cervantes, 23, by his girlfriend who had arrived at the scene. Police said he was also identified as the father of the baby.

According to police, Cervantes had crashed his vehicle at the railroad tracks that run across Main Street and was seen on surveillance video running down the street from the crash with the baby in hand.

Police said the surveillance video was shot outside at the store the child was found, and Cervantes was then seen putting the baby on the sidewalk before running away.

Police said it was around 34 degrees outside at the time of the incident.

Police found Cervantes's vehicle crashed near railroad tracks, saying he had his license suspended in Tennessee and there was no child seat inside the crashed vehicle.

Officers arrested Cervantes and charged him with aggravated child abuse, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a wreck, driving on a suspended license and failure to have a child safety restraint system.

WPD said it called in the incident to the Department of Children's Services for a referral.

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