TEXAS CITY — When a syringe dropped out of a trash bag from her 11-year-old son’s bedroom, Rena Alvarado’s worst fears were realized. Her son, who had shown recent signs trouble, was likely doing drugs.
Those fears were confirmed when the boy confessed to his father that for the past few months he had been using methamphetamine, she said. A frustrated Alvarado claims Texas City police did little to arrest the person who sold the drugs to her boy and refused to take the syringe as evidence.
Alvarado claims her son got access to the drugs while hanging out at Texas City’s new skate park.
Alvarado said the police didn’t help her in any way and wouldn’t do anything even though her other son, who is 9 years old, had the address and name of the drug dealer.
Police called to house
Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby said police were called to Alvarado’s house Sunday but details she told The Daily News were not what responding officers were told.
“There was no discussion about a drug dealer and we had no evidence that the syringe was used for drugs,” Burby said. “It appears the officer was led to believe he was called to be an authoritative figure because the mother was having trouble with her kid.
“There was nothing in the syringe to indicate it had been used for anything, although it is not normal for 11-year-olds to walk around with a syringe.”
Alvarado, a single mother, said that a few months ago she started having issues with her son — the sixth-grader rebelled often and started running away.
She suspected he had been using drugs, but it wasn’t until finding the syringe that she was certain. Instead of confronting her son, she called police.
The boy later admitted to using methamphetamine to his father, Alvarado said.
The suspected use of the drugs comes a month after six Blocker Middle School students in Texas City — all girls — were caught at school with a new form of liquid methamphetamine that was dried and put on stamp-sized pieces of paper and folded into tinfoil.
The drugs were ingested by at least two of the students, school and law enforcement officials said.
Drugs at the new skate park?
That the drugs may have come from someone hanging out at the skate park wasn’t a surprise to some who use the park regularly.
“It’s kind of annoying,” Greg Garcia, 17, said. “They don’t even come here to skate. They just hang out over (in a nearby covered pavilion) and smoke and deal.”
In particular, he said an older woman he called a “crack head” often comes to the park and disrupts skaters. Greg Garcia’s cousin, Isaac Garcia, 17, was one of the teens who petitioned the city to build the park.
“I’m appalled by the situation,” he said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate at all. They aren’t a part of what we are doing here.”
Nikko Saenz, 17, who coordinated the petition effort with Garcia, said for the most part the park is “clean.”
John Holt, 16, another skate park regular, said he’s never seen drug issues in or near the park.
“It’s not true,” he said. “There’s really no trouble out here.”
“It’s a pretty open place, so people don’t dare to try anything,” Saenz said. “There’s police here all the time.”
Police monitor skate park
Burby said that since the park opened in September, police have had 64 calls to the park. The majority — 52 — are “keep check” calls when patrol officers just cruise in to stop at the park and monitor activity.
“We’re out there all the time,” Burby said. “And those are just the keep check calls we log.”
But there have been three narcotic-related calls, the chief said.
Alvarado insists that her son’s introduction to drugs came while hanging out at the park.
Given her comments, the chief will ask officers to follow up.
“If she has information that there’s a drug dealer there, we would like to know about it,” Burby said. “I would love to know who is dealing drugs, especially to kids.”
Editor’s note: This story published in content partnership with KHOU-TV.
At a glance
Police calls to Texas City Skate Park since Sept. 1
Keep checks 52
Suspicious person 3
Public disturbance 2
Juvenile problems 2
Attempt to locate 1
SOURCE: Texas City Police Department