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Home Criminal News A grandfather left his 7-year-old granddaughter with a homeless woman for $20 so he could go to a bar, and now faces child endangerment charges

A grandfather left his 7-year-old granddaughter with a homeless woman for $20 so he could go to a bar, and now faces child endangerment charges

Police say a “highly intoxicated” grandfather has been charged with child endangerment after he paid a homeless woman $20 so he could grab a drink at a bar and then proceeded to wander around later asking for help and declaring the 7-year-old had been kidnapped for human trafficking.

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Jason Warren is interviewed from a jail in Sacramento after police charged him with child endangerment. YouTube screengrab from Fox affiliate KTXL.

Jason Warren is being interviewed from a jail in Sacramento after being charged with child endangerment by the police. A screenshot from a YouTube video of a Fox affiliate KTXL.

Police say an intoxicated grandfather in California has been charged with child endangerment after paying a homeless woman $20 to have a drink at a bar, then later claiming the 7-year-old had been kidnapped for human trafficking.

Jason Warren, 54, was arrested on May 6 in Sacramento after a 911 call. Someone reported seeing a man asking for help to find the girl in the parking lot of The Cinders bar on Auburn Boulevard. statement from the Sacramento Sheriff’s Facebook page detailed the incident.

The call to dispatch led sheriffs to initiate a search using a helicopter, drones, and K-9 units. The homeless woman brought the girl back to the bar parking lot after hearing an announcement about the search over a nearby PA system.

“The female confirmed that Warren had paid her to take the child to the thrift store. She also indicated that Warren was highly intoxicated and unable to care for the child,” according to a police statement.

The woman took the girl to her “camp” to provide food, and the child confirmed the woman's account to the police. The child was medically evaluated as a precaution, but was not injured or distressed.

The woman who looked after Warren’s daughter, Lauren Jope, 43, told Sacramento Fox affiliate KTXL: “It was kind of like, OK, that’s kind a big thing and you don’t really know who I am but she’ll be safe with me.”

Jope mentioned that the girl did not seem frightened and that “it seems like its something that happened before.”

Police stated that when they finally spoke to Warren, he was clearly intoxicated as he explained that he paid an “unknown homeless woman $20 to take his granddaughter to a nearby thrift store while he went into the bar approximately four hours earlier.”

Surveillance footage from outside of the bar captured him leaving the girl with the woman.

It was later found that the girl’s aunt had full custody of her and had asked Warren to watch the child while she was at work. The girl has been returned to her aunt’s care after Child Protective Services confirmed it was safe.

Warren was taken into custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail and held on $75,000 bond. He appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday and remains in detention.

During an interview with Fox affiliate KTXL from inside jail, Warren mentioned that he left the girl with the woman because she seemed trustworthy.

“I could tell by her character, she looked like a decent person. I trusted her like I would trust my sister or my cousin,” Warren said.

When asked if he had considered the potential risks of leaving her with a stranger for four hours, he said: “I thought about it the whole time. But I trust God. God is not going to lead me into a dangerous situation.”

He also said: “Was I there for four hours?”

Warren explained to the outlet that he had car problems when he arrived at the bar and claimed his phone had died. He also mentioned that he knew he couldn’t bring the girl into the bar, so he left her with Jope. A woman from the thrift store where Jope took the child told Fox that the girl seemed happy while they were in the store. Jope added that she also bought the girl some ice cream and let her play with her dog at her camp.

Sacramento Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Amar Gandhi referred to Jope as “basically, a guardian angel.”

“Is it my fault for leaving my granddaughter with a guardian angel?” Warren asked from behind glass at the Sacramento Main Jail on Wednesday.

When asked if he would do it again, he said: “Yes, I would. Everything I did, I consulted God and told him that it’s his will, not mine.”

In addition to the felony child endangerment charge, Warren is charged with a single misdemeanor of disorderly conduct/drunk in public.

It's unknown if Warren has hired a lawyer.

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