(WKRG/CNN) — A biker in Texas could face child endangerment charges for riding a motorcycle with an infant. Police arrested him on Tuesday after a picture of them caused outrage on social media.
Anthony Welsh was arrested by Deer Park Police for open traffic warrants, but people on social media want him charged for the incident caught on camera, showing a baby on the gas tank of his high-performance street bike.
“That’s dangerous,” says the man who took the photo. He asked to remain anonymous.
He says he and his wife were at a gas station on Sunday when they couldn’t believe their eyes, a man with a baby straddling his motorcycle. Just before the man now identified as Welsh drove off, the witness snapped the picture, then posted it on social media, “I’m not looking to get the guy thrown in jail but he needs to get the hint the child’s life is in danger.”
But jail is where he may end up says Captain Ken Defoor of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, “possible charges would be endangering a child.”
Defoor says Liberty County investigators are talking to eyewitnesses who reportedly saw Welsh driving the bike with the little boy on board.
It’s illegal in Texas for a child younger than 5 to be a passenger.
“It’s just a very ill-thought out decision to put a child in that position. If the motorcycle went down the child is a goner,” says Defoor. Welsh has a criminal history that includes assault and evading arrest.
Equally startling to investigators, no one called police after witnessing the incident, but only turned to social media. Here’s the full press release from the sheriff’s office:
Social media and the ever presence of cell phone cameras within our everyday society has, once again, captured a very disturbing photo that swept the social media scene like a wild fire.
A photo of a man riding what is commonly called a “crotch rocket” motorcycle with an infant child sitting in front of him and laying over the gas tank of the motorcycle was taken by a witness on Sunday and calls to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office have been non-stop with both irate citizens wanting to know if this person has been identified as well as many citizens who saw on Facebook the photo of the bike rider and called in his identity and what was thought to be his address.
Surprisingly, no person called the sheriff’s dispatcher to report this sighting, but Facebook covered it quite well, which prompted so many calls from both the news media and the general public as well.
Liberty County Corporal James Hobson began working on the case when enough information had been telephoned in to identify the motorcycle rider and his possible whereabouts.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. this evening, Hobson arrested Anthony Braddick Welsh, DOB 12/12/86, at his residence on CR 2224 on an outstanding traffic warrant out of the Deer Park Police Department.
Hobson is presently contacting possible witnesses to this motorcycle event and developing information that could possibly lead to a more serious charge later.
Under Texas law, no child under five 5-years-old shall be a passenger on a motorcycle, and any passenger that does ride as a second person on the motorcycle must be seated in a secured seat to the back of the motorcycle with secure hand grips and two foot pegs.
Anthony Welsh has been turned over to the Deer Park Police Department on the outstanding traffic warrant, and Hobson is continuing his investigation for possible future charges here in Liberty County.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.