PLANTATION (CBSMiami) – The attorneys for the Plantation man accused of abandoning his teenage son in late December are firing back against allegations that the father committed a crime.READ MORE: CVS, NAACP Team Up To Get COVID Vaccines To People Of Color In South Florida
Bruce Jorgenson is accused of abandoning his child, 16-year-old Aage, on the streets of Plantation in late December and a month later trying to flee the country with a one-way plane ticket in hand. But Jorgenson’s attorneys said they can prove Jorgenson did not abandon his child.
Attorney Josh Howard showed CBS4 News an itinerary that he said shows Jorgenson booked a roundtrip to New Zealand departing January 27th and returning February 28th.
“That really takes away the allegations made by the state that this was a man fleeing prosecution in this jurisdiction,” Howard told CBS4’s Carey Codd.
The reason for Jorgenson’s trip? Howard showed CBS4 News a court document from the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands ordering Jorgenson to appear there. Because the case is under seal Howard did not want to discuss the reason for the hearing.
When Jorgenson was arrested, Plantation police said he did not report his son missing and did not cooperate with investigators. But Howard takes issue with that, too.
He showed CBS4 News a copy of an email Jorgenson sent on January 24th to the police informing them that Aage was missing and offering a monetary reward. But Howard said the email was apparently sent to an incorrect address and was not received.
“The allegation – just like many allegations in this case – that he was totally uncooperative and did nothing is completely false,” Howard said.READ MORE: Eye On Earth: 'One Of The Most Peaceful Places In South Florida': Wakodahatchee Wetlands
Jorgenson is being held on $1 million bond. His attorneys want that number lowered. In court earlier this month, Jorgenson denied that he wanted to leave his child.
“My son is here in this jurisdiction,” Jorgenson said. “You couldn’t pry me away with a crowbar, your honor.”
But police and prosecutors allege that Jorgenson took Aage from his mother years ago and Aage’s mother made a tearful plea for her son from the island of Palau.
“Please be good and don’t hide,” she said.
Police said Aage has run away before for long stretches and police believe the boy is alive and they want him to come forward.
As for his father, his attorney believes the police overreached by arresting him.
“Perhaps he did not act the way the police department did not want him to act,” Howard said. “But that’s not a crime.”MORE NEWS: Hundreds Benefit From Much-Needed Provisions At Miami Springs Food Distribution
The next step is for Jorgenson to schedule a bond hearing so the state and the defense can argue the issue.