UPDATE: 9/10/2020 9 P.M. – Thomas Rey Esquivel, 19, has now been arrested for the viral video where a toddler was seen smoking marijuana. He is the second person arrested in the case. He’s facing endangering a child charges.
Warning, you may find some of the images disturbing.
SAN ANTONIO – A toddler’s big sister is in handcuffs and accused of encouraging him to smoke marijuana on video before posting it to social media.
Larissa Contreras, 18, was arrested Thursday, hours after speaking with us about the case. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said the arrest comes four days after he was told of the video posted online.
Sheriff says someone in a nonprofit pointed the video out to him Monday, which shows the boy smoking the marijuana with adults behind the camera encouraging him. The boy was smoking a marijuana blunt, which is street slang for a marijuana cigarette.
“It was very apparent the little boy in the video was encouraged to smoke what we now know is marijuana and was becoming physically ill as a result by it and this suspect along with others was making joy of it,” Salazar said. “So, it’s a heartbreaking case.”
Salazar said the viral video isn’t the only evidence they have on Contreras, adding the investigators have also found a live stream video where Contreras allegedly confesses to the video.
“As if social media being her downfall wasn’t enough for her, she also, while basically giving the information to investigators, live streamed some of that, which now turns out to be part of a confession,” Salazar said, adding they are in the process of recovering the video.
Since the video was posted, threats have been made toward those in the video and those reporting the video, according to Salazar.
“There are some threats floating around,” Salazar confirmed. “Obviously this case is one that tugged at a lot of people’s heart strings. In Bexar County, San Antonio, we don’t take kindly to people treating our kids like this.”
Salazar did encourage residents to not take the law into their own hands.
As for the suspects who are allegedly making threats to those reporting the video, Salazar had other words.
“I would suggest to those young men who are now upset that their deeds came too light, I would quit while you’re ahead at this point,” Salazar advised. “I would consider stopping [the] threatening at this point.”
The toddler’s parents are not facing charges. Salazar said the parents entrusted their daughter to watch over the toddler and were ‘obviously’ wrong.
The child is at home and will have to undergo drug testing as deputies say they must confirm the marijuana was not laced with anything. Contreras is facing endangering a child charges.
Originally published: https://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/cps-sheriff-investigating-viral-video-allegedly-showing-young-boy-smoking-09-10-2020