This week, a video showing a 3-year-old toddler smoking what appeared to be marijuana in a car was uploaded on social media. Larissa Contreras, 18, and boyfriend Thomas Esquivel, 19, have been arrested and charged with child endangerment due to their involvement.
The couple is accused of encouraging the child, who is Contrera’s younger brother, to smoke marijuana in San Antonio, Texas. They allegedly recorded the incident and uploaded the videos to social media. Sheriff Javier Salazar called the case “bizarre…but heartbreaking” in a press conference.
According to Salazar, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the video on Monday. In the video, a toddler could be seen holding a “brown marijuana cigarette” inside a vehicle, KSAT 12 reports. Adults could be heard encouraging the child to smoke, putting the drug to his lips, and having him hold it himself.
The child complied, taking a puff and coughing after. Salazar described the others in the video, saying they were expressing “joy” and laughing at the toddler smoking.
Salazar believes the incident happened when Contreras’ parents told her to watch over her little brother. The videos were taken in a vehicle while they were at a family gathering. According to KTSA, the video was recorded on Saturday night.
Once officials were able to identify Contreras from the video, they took her into custody and interviewed her. Salazar also mentioned that authorities found out Contreras had live-streamed part of her confession on social media and are searching for the footage.
As authorities investigate, other arrests are expected to be made in the case. Salazar shared that the department doesn’t have any current plans to press charges against the boy’s parents.
Contreras’ brother is currently at home and healthy. According to Salazar, the toddler will be drug tested as a precaution to make sure the marijuana he smoked wasn’t laced with other drugs.
KSAT reported footage from the incident:
Salazar’s full press conference can be seen below: