Haines City man abandons stepdaughters after traffic crash, police say

Haines City police are looking for a man tonight they say ran a stop sign, plowed into another vehicle, and then took off, leaving his two young stepdaughters behind to fend for themselves.

One had to be taken to the hospital. She was treated and released.

On Sunday, police say Armando De Dios Cruz was driving with his 6-year-old and 13-year-old stepdaughters.

Investigators believe De Dios Cruz violated the right-of-way and crashed into another vehicle.

The vehicle rolled over and the 6-year-old was ejected from the vehicle.

“What do you think of a person like that? I think they are a dirtbag. Of course, he gets the stepfather of the year award,” said Haines City Police Chief Jim Elensky.

De Dios Cruz was taking the kids home from a birthday party when the crash happened.

The driver of the other vehicle broke their wrist.

It turns out De Dios Cruz shouldn’t have even been behind the wheel. There is no record of him having a license. But he may now have a criminal record if he is caught.

Anyone with information on Armando’s whereabouts is asked to call the Haines City Police Department at (863) 421-3636 or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a $3,000 cash reward, call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 800-226-TIPS (8477).