The Irvine Valley college parking lot is in the spotlight again as a second arrest has been made by Irvine police. This time it was over an employed music instructor that has allegedly abandoned his 11-month old daughter in the car seat of his vehicle.
IVC music “accompanist” Jason Buchea was arrested on Tuesday by the Irvine Police department on suspicion of felony child endangerment. The child was reported when a passerby noticed his daughter strapped in a car seat shortly after 1 p.m.
Buchea, 33, is titled as a Project Specialist in the division of fine arts, according to IVC directory. He lives in Costa Mesa. His wife currently attends IVC.
The investigation took an odd twist when Jason Buchea himself called the Costa Mesa Police department to report his missing daughter. Irvine Police press release informed the public that detectives from Irvine Police “responded to Costa Mesa where both the mother and Buchea were interviewed at his home.” After the interview, Buchea was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment.
The baby girl has been taken to Hoag Hospital as a precaution by the Orange County Fire Authority. The baby appeared to be in good health and, after being released, was taken into protective custody by the Orange County Child Protective Services.
California State Law describes Penal Code 237a Child Endangerment as any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering. This law was enacted in 1905, and although the criteria hasn’t had any dramatic changes, the penalties for violation have.
If convicted, Jason Buchea could be facing a minimum of four years on formal probation, 2-6 years in California State prison, a maximum $10,000 fine, and a possible strike on his record under California’s Three Strike’s Law.
IVC spokeswoman Diane Oaks, emphasizes that the suspect is a “short-term temporary employee.” When asked what that means by OC Weekly, Oaks responded, “For clarity, Mr. Buchea is a part-time accompanist” and added, “He is not a teacher.”
This is the second time in less than a week that a major crime has been reported on IVC campus. Particularly, these incidents have both happened in the school parking lot. Campus police have again responded swiftly, with officers being alerted by passerby and Irvine Police Department by way of a 911 call.
Students, as well as anyone on campus, are encouraged to keep reporting anything suspicious, following the “see something, say something” policy as suggested by campus Chief Will Glen regarding the sexual assault crime that happened 5 days earlier.
All members of IVC can rest assured in that they are well guarded by a vigilant and alert police force who is continuing to protect and serve all citizens diligently. With cooperation from students, faculty, and joint operations with Irvine Police department, IVC can ensure that the crime on campus can be stifled and prevented if proactive measures are taken.