SPRING— The mother of two runaways who were "taught a lesson" by a neighbor has some strong words for the man.
Thirteen-year old Trey Porrata and his 7-year old brother Zakary went missing on Saturday afternoon from their home near the intersection of Timbercrest Village and Kuykendahl in Spring.
The boys asked the neighbor to help them run away from home Saturday. Instead of calling their mom, the neighbor dropped them off Saturday night in a wooded area about seven miles from home.
"He gave them a ride and helped teach them a lesson, to teach what it’s like to live like a hobo in the woods," said Sergeant Ben Beall with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
"My reaction was literally, ‘Excuse me, because it’s not up to you to teach my child a lesson,’" Monica Poratta said. "That is my job. That is my husband’s job. That is not his job."
Their mom said her sons ran away because they were mad after being punished for coming home late on Friday night.
"I guess they were just upset on a Saturday, having to be stuck in their room, having to clean it instead of being out playing," said Porrata. "They snuck out the back door when we went out front for a smoke break."
A massive search involving the Harris County Sheriff’s office and Texas Equusearch started on Sunday.
The neighbor finally spilled the beans after being grilled by authorities.
The boys were picked up behind an apartment complex in The Woodlands.
They were a little worried when they got home.
"At first they didn’t know how to react and then, soon as we started hugging them they started crying and realized, ‘We’re not gonna get in trouble,’" Poratta said.
The boys told their mother that at some point during the whole ordeal, the neighbor bought them food and even took them to the mall to buy clothes and books.
That neighbor is expected to be charged with harboring a runaway or child endangerment.