MONESSEN (KDKA) – A woman is facing charges after the mayor of Monessen found her 4-year-old son wandering in the middle of a street on Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint, Mayor Lou Mavrakis was on his way into work when he spotted the boy along Route 906 North at Rebecca Street shortly after 8 a.m. The boy was only wearing a t-shirt and was naked from the waist down.
“No shoes. No shorts. All he had was a t-shirt on. Just standing in the middle of the street crying,” said Mayor Mavrakis. “The cars was going just like that. Nobody stopped. I couldn’t believe it.”
Mayor Mavrakis blocked traffic with his car, rescued the child, drove him to the Monessen Municipal Complex where they provided food and clothing for him, and called police.
A police officer went back to Rebecca Street and knocked on several doors, trying to find the boy’s family. According to the criminal complaint, the officer went to several homes along the road, including the boy’s residence, but no one answered their doors.
The officer took the boy to the police station and the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau was called in.
After two hours passed, with no 911 calls coming in to report a missing child, the police officer and child service worker brought the boy back to Rebecca Street and he was able to point to his house.
When speaking to the boy’s mother, 44-year-old Tosha Arnold, she indicated she did not notice he was missing when she woke up. According to the criminal complaint, she also told police she allows her son to be outside on the stoop, sometimes for “hours at a time,” unsupervised “because he usually doesn’t go anywhere.”
Inside the home, the officer and CYS caseworker found bags of foul-smelling garbage on the floor. The refrigerator contained beer and an old tray of lasagna. The criminal complaint says they also found insects throughout the home, both dead and alive, and “fly strips were found to be hung in the kitchen/living room area.”
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Monessen Police Officer Jeffery Smaracheck. “Anytime we see a child living in a situation like that we are forced by law to go ahead and intervene and ensure that child is put in a safe environment.”
There were three other children in the home, ages 5, 7 and 8, according to the criminal complaint.
Arnold was arrested and later released after posting $10,000 bond.
She is charged with endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct.
According to the criminal complaint, she moved to the Monessen area about a year ago from Detroit