Bell County constables arrest 97 deadbeat parents

Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 11:13am

Bell County Pct. 3 Constable Thomas Prado; Hays County Pct. 1 Constable David Peterson; Travis County Pct. 5 Constable Bruce Elfant; and Williamson County Pct. 1 Constable Robert Chody and Pct. 4 Constable Marty Ruble have arrested 97 central Texas parents who failed to pay their court-ordered child support. This week’s sweep was conducted in conjunction with the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division. The effort focused on parents who were the subjects of arrest warrants because of their failure to pay child support.

“Parents have a moral and legal obligation to make regular child support payments,” Attorney General Abbott said. “By collecting child support, we are ensuring young Texans have the resources they need to grow healthy and strong. We are grateful to Bell County Pct. 3 Constable Thomas Prado; Hays County Pct. 1 Constable David Peterson; Travis County Pct. 5 Constable Bruce Elfant; and Williamson County Pct. 1 Constable Robert Chody and Pct. 4 Constable Marty Ruble for their unfailing commitment to Texas children.”

This week’s sweep targeted parents who are wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. The multi-county operation began Saturday and ended Wednesday in all counties except Travis. Constable Elfant’s roundup continues through Friday.

Twenty-two parents were arrested in Bell County, 12 parents were arrested in Hays County, 48 parents were arrested in Travis County (as of 10 a.m. Thursday) and 15 parents were arrested in Williamson County, for a total of 97 arrests.

Constables worked together to track down and arrest parents who were subjects of warrants from any of the four participating counties. Child Support Division investigators assisted the constables by providing logistical assistance to locate delinquent parents.

Delinquent parents arrested on civil warrants face up to six months in jail. Cash bonds posted by delinquent parents seeking release from jail are paid to the custodial parents and children who are owed back child support.

Parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments—but are not subject to warrants for their arrest—should immediately contact the Attorney General’s Child Support Division at (800) 252-8014 to make payment arrangements.

Under state and federal law, the Office of the Attorney General can assist families who request child support services and must serve families who currently receive or have received public assistance. Services offered by the Child Support Division include locating absent parents; establishing paternity for children born to unmarried parents; establishing, enforcing, and modifying child and medical support orders; and collecting and distributing child support payments.

Statewide, child support collected by the Office of the Attorney General exceeded $3.4 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2012. Child support offices in the four-county area collected $255 million of that amount.

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