A Bonita Springs man found to be an undocumented immigrant was arrested for bribing law enforcement after being questioned when his 6-year-old child was found wandering away from home by himself.
On Saturday, Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Salvador Gualim Lem, 35, at the sheriff’s office on Six Mile Cypress Parkway in south Fort Myers.
According to the arrest report, a female driver traveling northbound on Front Street found a small child wandering around near the road, which could only be reached after crossing train tracks, and was also near a body of water. The driver stopped and asked the child where his parents were, and the child said his mother is in Guatemala and his father left. The driver stayed with the child and asked her son to call law enforcement.
Deputies responded and identified the 6-year-old. After an hour of driving, the child was able to direct deputies to his home on the 10000 block of Kentucky Street in Bonita Springs. The deputies spent another hour with the child at his home when a resident of the home returned and provided them with a phone number and name of the parent, who was Lem.
Deputies called Lem, who initially refused to return home or share his current location at the time. Lem returned home about 30 minutes later after initially refusing.
The arrest report said Lem appeared intoxicated and had an odor of alcohol coming from him.
Lem told deputies he had gone grocery shopping. He was found with one grocery bag containing a box of ramen noodles. No food was found in the home, which backed up to a body of water.
Lem was taken to the sheriff’s office, where he was interviewed by a detective with the assistance of a deputy, who translated. Lem offered the detective and deputy $100 to let him go. At that point, the sheriff’s office placed Lem under arrest.
Lem faces charges for Child Neglect and Bribery.
Lem was found wearing an ankle bracelet and discovered to be an undocumented immigrant who is being monitored by Homeland Security Investigations. A special agent will be placing a detainer on Lem.
Florida Department of Children and Families responded to the scene and took custody of the child.