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Man Accused of Paying Homeless Woman $20 to Watch Granddaughter While He Went to Bar — 'She Seemed Like a Decent Person'

California Man Paid Homeless Woman $20 to Watch Granddaughter: Cops
Source: MEGA

The homeless woman took the little girl to her 'camp' and gave her food, police said.

May 9 2024, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

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A man in California has been arrested after he allegedly paid a homeless woman $20 to watch his 7-year-old granddaughter while he drank at a bar, according to authorities.

Around 8 p.m. on May 6, deputies were called to the parking lot of a bar in Sacramento by a passerby who said a man was seeking “help because his 7-year-old granddaughter had been kidnapped for human trafficking,” according to documents obtained by KTXL.

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Responding deputies spoke with the man, 54-year-old Jason Warren, and reported he was “highly intoxicated," the documents show.

Officers claimed Warren told them he had given an unknown woman $20 to take the girl to a nearby thrift store while he went to a bar around four hours earlier. When he came out of the bar, he couldn’t find the pair, he told police.

Officials obtained surveillance footage from the area, which showed the woman leaving the area with the little girl. Law enforcement launched a search for the child, deploying a helicopter, drones and K9s.

The woman, however, heard a public address announcement from the helicopter and returned to the parking lot with the girl about a half hour later, authorities said.

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The woman claimed to police that Warren was highly intoxicated when he gave her the $20 and “she did not think he could care for the child," so she took the girl to her “camp” for food," the report states.

Deputies talked with the little girl, who didn't appear to be in distress, according to police, corroborated the woman’s statement.

Child neglect

Medics cleared the little girl, who was returned to her aunt. The aunt, officials said, has full custody of the child and asked Warren to watch her while she went to work.

The woman, identified as Lauren Jope, told KTXL she was confused at first. “I was like, ‘Okay that’s a big thing … you don’t know who I am,’ but I knew that she would be safe with me," she said. "She wasn’t scared at all and it seemed like maybe something that had maybe happened before.”

Sgt. Amar Gandhi told the outlet that Jope had been a “guardian angel.”

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Warren told the station that Jope “looked like a decent person” and he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong and would do it again.

“She was about 28 to 30 years old,” Warren said. “I knew, I could tell by her character that she seemed like a decent person. I trusted her like I would trust my sister or my cousin.”

Warren expressed surprised to learn he’d been in the bar for four hours, claiming he had car trouble and went into the establishment to call for help because his cell phone battery was dead, officials said.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” he told KTXL. “Everything I did I told God about and I said, ‘It’s your will God, not my will. Let your will be done.’”

Warren was arrested and charged with child endangerment, authorities said.

He was given a $75,000 bond and released. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 29.


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