The man suspected of driving drunk and seriously injuring a 6-year-old boy in a Southern California crash was deported to Mexico 15 times in the last 15 years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says.
According to ABC affiliate KGTV, Constantino Banda-Acosta, 38, was arrested May 6 in connection to the crash near Interstate 5 and just north of the U.S./Mexico border. Benjamin Lake, his wife Ingrid and their 6-year-old son Lennox were in the other vehicle and on their way home from Disneyland around 10:30 p.m. Lake told KGTV that a truck ran a stop sign and hit their vehicle behind the driver’s seat, where Lennox was sitting in his car seat.
Lennox is at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego with serious head injuries.
"He's had a subdermal hematoma, skull fracture, fractured nose, eyes swollen shut. His scalp has a laceration on it that required six stitches," Lake, who struggled to hold back tears, told KGTV. "His bone was depressed into his skull, so they had to cut him from ear to middle of scalp, pull back the scalp, remove the bone, clean it and clean the wound."
Banda-Acosta’s truck was located around one mile away from the crash, and both he and his passenger were arrested. Border Patrol officials told KGTV he and his passenger were "both determined to be Mexican nationals in the country illegally."
KGTV reported that Banda-Acosta’s estranged wife – who did not want to give her name – told them he was deported to Mexico on Jan. 10, and showed up at their Chula Vista home on Jan. 20. TAP HERE for Banda-Acosta’s known arrest history.
ICE Public Affairs Officer Lauren Mack released the following statement to KGTV on May 9:
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has lodged a detainer against Mr. Banda seeking to take him into custody if and when he is released by local authorities to pursue additional immigration enforcement action and/or criminal prosecution. Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Mr. Banda-Acosta has been repatriated to Mexico at least 15 times since 2002, most recently in January 2017.”
Doctors think Lennox will eventually make a full recovery, and Lennox’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.
KGTV added that Banda-Acosta will be arraigned May 10 on charges of DUI, hit-and-run and driving without a license. Online records at the San Diego County Jail state that as of Wednesday morning he is being held on $100,000 bail. A booking photo for Banda-Acosta is not available.