When her 6-year-old son went to the refrigerator and helped himself to a drink of chocolate milk without permission, 23-year-old Ruth Vasquez Rodriguez-Martinez decided that he had to be punished.
But unlike most parents, Rodriguez-Martinez felt that the right punishment was to choke him, throw him into a closet and beat him with a belt.
The incident occurred in July but Rodriguez-Martinez was not arrested until after Children’s Protective Services went to the home on September 12 to investigate an allegation that the boy and his siblings were being left alone by their mother.
When CPS arrived, they found four children aged 1, 3, 6 and 7 alone in the house and called their mother who arrived home about 20 minutes later and said that she had only left them alone for an hour or so.
The 6-year-old had told them when questioned about a one inch scar on his forehead that he had suffered the cut when his head hit the wall in the closet his mother had thrown him into after she caught him drinking chocolate milk without permission.
Rodriguez-Martinez admitted to investigators that she had seen the injury when it occurred but that she had not sought medical treatment because she did not want CPS to become involved in her life. Court documents show that she has admitted that she often left the children at home without supervision, a fact corroborated by the 6-year-old.
Rodriguez-Martinez denied choking her son, saying that while she was beating him with the belt she had first held him by his shirt but then grabbed him by the neck, presumably to better hold him while she administered the beating.
Rodriguez-Martinez is being held in the Harris County Jail with a bond of $12,000.
Watch a news report from KPRC.