Three San Antonio teens were arrested in connection to a viral video which featured a 3-three year old child repeatedly smoking marijuana.
The video shows the toddler coughing throughout the nearly 30-second clip.
After the video blew up on social media, 18-year-old Larissa Contreras, the sister of the child, and later her boyfriend, 19-year-old Thomas Rey Esqueviel, were charged with endangering the welfare of a child, KTSA reported.
After that, another 16-year-old young man was taken into custody. He reportedly shot the video.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar was appalled by the incident:
“This suspect and several other persons of interest were taking quite a bit of joy at that.”
“They were laughing at it and making fun of the fact that this little boy was as sick as he could be. It’s a heartbreaking case.”
“This case is one that tugged at a lot of peoples’ heartstrings. In Bexar County and San Antonio, we don’t take kindly to people treating our kids like this.”
NEWS4SA caught up with Contreras just before her arrest.
She gave a remorseful, panicked response.
“Please forgive me, please don’t hate me, please don’t, I love you.”
Contreras went on to explain the details of the incident.
According to Contreras, the person who recorded the video was the same one who brought the drugs into the car. Esqueviel, Contreras’ boyfriend who was also arrested, handed the marijuana to the child.
Contreras claimed that she was not sober enough to stop what was happening.
“At the moment, I was high myself.”
“It makes me feel like sh*t, it makes me feel like I’m some f’ked up person, I feel terrible.”
The 3-year-old child’s parents left him in the care of Contreras. At this point, the parents have not faced any charges.
Twitter was totally horrified by the story.
— Jennifer (@Jennife80131033) September 11, 2020
What in the hell is this…👀👀👀
— Dion J DB (@CoryDionRichard) September 11, 2020
Totally disgusting! 😡😡
— Olivia (@re_dewine) September 11, 2020
The new Merica folks.
— Paul James (@Metzenger73) September 11, 2020
The story stands as yet another example of the way social media has changed the ability to bring perpetrators to justice after incidents like these.
But did the desire for viral fame also create the incident? Only the teens can answer whether they would have done the same thing if there was no camera.