STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – A father in Struthers was arrested after police say his 2-year-old son wandered out of the house with no shoes or coat on while the dad was high and playing video games in an upstairs bedroom.
According to a police report, officers were called about 5:39 p.m. Friday after a neighbor found the 2-year-old boy on her porch. The woman said she first saw the child walking alone along Sexton Street before he came up on her porch.
Officers took custody of the child and spent an hour at the police station without anyone calling to report the missing child.
Police were able to track the child’s home to a house in the 200 block of Sexton Street, several doors down from where he was found. Police encountered the child’s father, 22-year-old Cody Shields, at the home.
Police say Shields was unaware that the child was missing and that he was “too busy getting high and playing video games in his room to pay attention to his child, who escaped through the back door,” according to the report.
Officers searched the house and described the living conditions as deplorable. There was feces on the floor, dirty dishes piled in the sink and debris was strewn about the house, which included dirty diapers.
Also in the home, police seized drug paraphernalia, including a mason jar with marijuana, vape pens containing suspected THC and suspected hashish wax, the report stated.
Shields was arrested on charges of child endangering, possession of marijuana and a property code violation, due to the fact that the exterior property was riddled with trash and a giant mattress, according to the report.
The child was turned over to his mother, who was working at the time of the incident. Police said the mother told them she was aware of drug use in the house but thought the child’s father was capable of watching their son while she was at work, police said.