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Star-Telegram columnist arrested

Star-Telegram watchdog columnist Dave Lieber was arrested Tuesday on probable cause warrants for child abandonment, a Watauga police spokeswoman said.

Lieber, 51, turned himself into the Tarrant County Jail on Tuesday morning, authorities said.

He was released on $4,000 bail.

His arrest stems from an Aug. 13 incident in which Lieber left his 11-year-old son at a Watauga McDonald's restaurant after the two argued, said Detective Tiffany Ward, a Watauga police public information officer.

He was arrested on two warrants, one for child abandonment with intent to return and the other for child abandonment/endangering a child, she said. Both are felonies.

Police will refer the case to the Tarrant County district attorney, who will determine whether to file charges.

Lieber declined to comment Tuesday on the advice of his attorney.

Police responded to the McDonald's on the morning of Aug. 13 after a customer called 911 and reported an argument between a child and an adult, Ward said. The adult had left the child in the parking lot.

"Apparently, the child was attempting to get into the car as Mr. Lieber had exited the parking lot," Ward said.

While police were interviewing witnesses, Lieber returned to the restaurant, she said. Lieber and his son were allowed to leave, but the case was forwarded to the Watauga police criminal investigation division.

The police report did not indicate how long the child was left at the restaurant, Ward said.

Lieber wrote about the incident in an Aug. 15 column. He said he was gone for "several minutes" before he returned to the restaurant to get his son. He said he regretted his actions.

"I made a stupid and quite serious mistake," Lieber wrote.

Star-Telegram Executive Editor Jim Witt said Lieber would be suspended from writing the column while the case moves through the judicial system. "Then we'll have to see what the result is before we make any further decisions concerning this."