Punxsy Man Charged After 3-Year-Old Child Found Unattended Outdoors Waives Hearing

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney man waived his hearing in court on Tuesday on charges stemming from an incident where his three-year-old child was found unattended outdoors.

Court documents indicate the following charge against 32-year-old Jeremy Barnacastle was waived for court on Tuesday, January 11, 2022:

– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 3

The charge has been transferred to the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas.

Barnacastle remains free on $5,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charge stems from an incident that took place in Punxsy in early October.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 10:05 a.m. on Tuesday, October 5, Punxsutawney Borough Police were dispatched to Gilpin Street for a report of a small child running around the street unattended.

At the scene, police spoke to a known man who reported the child was in the nearby backyard of his own home playing, but nobody seemed to be at home at the residence.

Police then made contact with the child, a known three-year-old male, who was wearing jeans and a shirt with no socks or shoes.

The complaint notes the child could not communicate well verbally, only stating “no” when asked questions. Police also found the child had urinated in his pants, was wearing soiled clothing, and was generally very wet and dirty.

Punxsutawney Borough Police Chief Conrad then stayed with the child while another officer attempted to locate the child’s parents, starting at the residence.

According to the complaint, police found the front door of the residence was wide open and saw that the inside of the residence was cluttered and dirty. The officer knocked on the door and yelled for the child’s parents for several minutes with no response. He then tried the doorbell approximately 20 times and continued to knock and yell. He also went to the rear of the residence but was unable to make contact with the child’s parents.

Chief Conrad then contacted the school resource officer to obtain the parents’ contact information since police were aware the child had an older sibling who was in school. While they used the information and attempted to contact the child’s parents, they were also informed the child’s older sibling was in school that day.

Police also then contacted Jefferson County Children and Youth Services (CYS) to respond to the residence.

Approximately 45 minutes later, after a CYS representative arrived at the scene, the representative and police attempted to make contact with the victim’s parents inside the residence again, but after knocking on the door and announcing their presence for several more minutes, they were still unable to make contact.

Approximately 10 to 15 minutes later, police were able to make contact with the victim’s father, Jeremy Barnacastle, who said he was upstairs in the residence sleeping.

Barnacastle then exited the residence a short time later and was advised about what had occurred, according to the complaint.

He then began asking the child several times “why he would do this,” the complaint notes.

Children and Youth Services then entered the residence to proceed with their investigation.

The charge was filed against Barnacastle through Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office on Wednesday, October 6.

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