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HOLLAND, Texas (Feb. 24, 2016) – Police in Texas are investigating a bizarre case in Texas in which a father left three children alone in a minivan at the side of the road.

Anthony Alfredo Chavez was booked into the Bell County Jail Tuesday, according to KWTX. The strange case began when someone spotted a minivan at the side of a rural road between Salado and Holland, which is about 60 miles north of Austin, Texas.

The driver’s side door was open, and three children—ages 3, 4 and 7—were inside alone. The van had a flat tire. The passerby called 911, and a Bell County sheriff’s deputy arrived. Together they moved the children to the patrol car.

A man, later identified as Chavez, suddenly appeared, climbed into the passerby’s truck and drove away. The deputy didn’t chase after him because children were in his squad car.

Deputies later located the truck stuck between two trees and found Chavez walking in the area hours later.

The children’s grandfather said Chavez was supposed to be driving to Dallas to take the children to their mother.