An international manhunt is on for a father whose car was last seen crossing the Texas border into Mexico after he allegedly tricked a court to give him custody of his 10-year-old son.
The boy can be seen on a videotape pleading with police "please, please, please" to not force him to go with his father.
Jean Philippe Lacombe, 41, allegedly fooled the court into helping him get custody of his son by presenting documents in Spanish that he said gave him legal custody of his son Jean Paul. The document was actually a warrant from Mexico for his arrest, but the court couldn't read it and believed Lacombe, a lawyer for the boy's mother told ABCNews.com.
"Authorities have told me that Lacombe's car was seen crossing into Mexico back in October, but we aren't sure if he was in it," said Texas' Bexer County District Attorney Susan Reed.
Felony arrest warrants have been issued for Lacombe, who is accused of misrepresenting court documents to "unlawfully obtain possession of the child" and then disappearing with his son, according to Reed.
Reed said Lacombe obtained an order to take temporary custody of his son on Oct 15. The very next day, authorities helped the father take the boy from a school bus. They were both supposed to appear in court on Oct. 19, never showed up.
Miquel Ortiz, the lawyer for the boy's mother, Berenice Diaz, says they believe the boy is in danger and is also without his medication.
"The child is on daily medication for emotional problems stemming from the first kidnapping and now he's not taking it. That's our main concern," said Ortiz. "He has also made claims that his father physically abuses him."
According to Ortiz, Lacombe kidnapped his son once before in 2005, fleeing from Mexico to France with the boy before Diaz regained custody.
The claims of abuse by Lacombe were recorded by the school bus surveillance camera when Jean Paul was removed from the bus. The boy's mother authorized the release of the video to garner attention to her son's alleged kidnapping.
On the video, Jean Paul is seen crying in the aisle of the school bus as he tells authorities trying to coax him outside, "No no, please help me. He's not my dad. I don't want to live with him."
Jean Philippe Lacombe Allegedly Tricked Texas Court
Asked why he doesn't think Lacombe is his dad, the child responds, "Because he hits me a lot of times. I don't want to live with him." The boy backs away from the police and down the aisle of the bus.
The cop, who is unnamed in the video, assures the boy that they won't let his father hurt him, but the child continues to resist.
Then Lacombe himself starts trying to get his son to get off the bus, saying, "Come with me, Honey" and "You're scaring your brother."
"I want to go with my mom. I want to stay with my mom, please, please, please," cries Jean Paul.
Diaz' attorney Ortiz claims that Lacombe tricked the court by giving them a document in Spanish – one that was actually a warrant for his arrest in Mexico – and claimed it was proof that the mother was not to have custody of Jean Paul.
"He told the court that the document said [the mother] was not supposed to have access to the child, but really the document was a warrant for his arrest," said Ortiz. "Because the document was in Spanish, the court didn't know what it said."
Ortiz says District Court Judge Sol Casseb just "believed the papers" when he ruled in favor of Lacombe.
Diaz, who Ortiz says is "devastated," last saw her son on Oct. 17 at the San Antonio airport.