A Marion County sheriff’s deputy found Manuel Suero-Castellanos
Monday night in a pickup truck in the rain where it had stopped inside a turn lane on U.S. 27 with a baby in his arms and a toddler standing on the seat next to him.
Another motorist, railroad engineer Robert Kellar had called the Sheriff’s Office, saying he was almost struck head on by the silver truck in the Fellowship area.
“About eight or nine cars and two semis went by, and how he missed all that, I don’t know
,” Kellar said.
Suero-Castellanos was charged with DUI, two counts of child abuse or neglect, and violation of an injunction, according to the Sheriff’s Office report.
At a court appearance via video link from the jail Tuesday morning - hours after his 11:23 p.m. arrest - Suero-Castellanos answered a judge's questions with the help of a Spanish interpreter.
Wearing handcuffs and a red-and-white jail outfit, Suero-Castellanos told County Judge Sarah Ritterhoff Williams he was an unemployed truck driver. He said he had recently been released from the jail. Records show he was arrested on a domestic violence charge on March 11 and released May 11.
Kellar, told deputies that, after nearly striking several vehicles head on, the pickup Suero-Castellanos was driving made a U-turn and stopped in the turn lane at the intersection.
Kellar remained at the scene until deputies arrived. He had been on his way to work when the truck almost hit his vehicle, he said later. To prevent other drivers from being hurt, Kellar flashed his high beams as a warning that something was going on.
When deputies arrived, they smelled alcohol and saw that Suero-Castellanos’ eyes were red and watery and that his speech slurred. The driver was holding his 4-month-old baby, and another son, age 3, was standing on the front seat of the truck.
No restraints were visible
, according to the report.
The mother of his two boys, Brenda Bayona, was also intoxicated
, the report said. Another woman came and picked up the children.
Records showed he had domestic violence injunction against him prohibiting contact with his children
. The Department of Children and Families was notified.