VANDERGRIFT (KDKA) — A Vandergrift man has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after a 4-year-old boy in his care was found wandering the streets.
Police were called to Longfellow Street, where a caller reported a child walking down the road alone.
“The child was in danger from the point he left the location where he should have been,” said Vandergrift Police Sgt. Anthony DePanicis. “Police were notified through Westmoreland County 911 and Officer Rigatti responded and took the matter into his hands and made sure the young male was taken care of.”
When an officer arrived, the toddler was without shoes and dried feces covered his feet, legs and clothes. He was able to provide his first name, but didn’t know his last name.
The policeman took the toddler to the Salvation Army, where he was cleaned and given fresh clothes. The officer then took the child to McDonald’s for a happy meal.
“He took it personally as well and wanted to make sure the child was cared for,” Sgt. DePanici said.
Raymond Turner, 25, a friend of the child’s father, was supposed to be watching the boy and is now facing charges.
Turner told police that the child went missing while he was in the bathroom. Once he realized the 4-year-old was gone, he couldn’t find his phone to call the child’s father. Once he located his phone, he alerted the boy’s father.
“There’s no excuse for that,”Sgt. DePanici said. “Your primary concern should have been to call the police and get somebody who’s gonna help you immediately.”