HOUSTON - New surveillance video shows a man’s desperate search for help after escaping from an apparent human smuggling operation in southwest Houston.
The video shows a man in nothing but underwear running through the Ridgemont neighborhood of Southwest Houston, knocking on doors, and begging for help.
In the video from a house on Ridgeton Drive, he is heard saying, “Por favor! Police!”
“He was just waving,” said Adan Hidalgo, the homeowner. “In Spanish, he was saying, Please, por favor, por favor. He was trying to say, Police police.”
Hidalgo’s home surveillance camera captured the man’s cry for help before he left and ran to knock on another door.
“He had his hands up here,” said another neighbor Mary Lewis, raising her hands above her head. “He said, Help me. Help me Help me.”
Lewis lives across the street from Hidalgo.
“He sounded real, real scared,” said Lewis.
She says the man went through her back yard before begging her for help.
“He was just in his shorts,” said Lewis. “He didn’t have on no shirt, any shoes or nothing. And he looked like he was all cut up and scraped all on his chest and arms and stuff.”
She says he took off running after saying a few words in English and Spanish.
“Baby, baby. He kept saying, Baby, baby,” said Lewis. “And he kept saying, My wife, my wife. That’s the only thing I caught from him. Then he started talking in Spanish.”
It all happened Thursday evening, and it led police to find more than two dozen men and one woman in their underwear hidden in a house on Raven Ridge Drive.
Surveillance video from the next-door neighbor shows police arriving at the house around 7 p.m. A black SUV tries to leave, but the police car blocks it in.
Bruno Chabero lives in the home that captured the surveillance video. He told FOX 26 he only ever saw three people go in and out of the home where police say dozens of non-citizens from Mexico, Honduras, El Salavdor and Cuba were apparently smuggled into the house and stripped of their clothes.
“It was two guys and a lady that we could tell lived there,” said Chabero. “And they would just come and go inside and half the time they would say hi, but that was it.”
ICE has taken over the investigation.
The U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement that a Honduran national who was illegally residing in Houston has been charged with harboring 29 individuals.
Immigration authorities arrested Mauro Dominguez-Maldonado, 36, late Thursday. He is expected to make his initial appearance on Monday.