Police tape

PUNXSUTAWNEY — A Punxsutawney man is facing a felony child endangerment charge after he allegedly fell asleep and his child was found in a neighbor’s backyard unattended.

Punxsutawney Borough Police filed charges against Jeremy Barnacastle, 32, of Punxsutawney, including endangering the welfare of children – third degree felony.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, police were dispatched to a residence where a child was reportedly running around the street unattended. Police spoke with the homeowner who said the child was playing in his backyard, and he knows them to live next door, but that nobody seemed to be home.

Police later identified the child to be 3 years old, wearing jeans and a T-shirt with no shoes or socks, and was wearing soiled clothing which was also very dirty, according to the affidavit. One officer stayed with the child while another attempted to locate the parents.

An officer went to the home next door and saw the front door was wide open. The officer noted the inside of the home was cluttered and dirty. According to the affidavit, the officer yelled and knocked for several minutes with no response from inside the home. The officer then reportedly used the doorbell about 20 times while continuing to knock and yell, then moved to the back of the home, still getting no response.

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A school resource officer was contacted to get contact information. Jefferson County Children and Youth Services was also contacted, and a representative arrived about 45 minutes later.

The CYS worker and officers again tried to contact anyone inside the home, but again got no response after several more minutes of knocking and yelling, according to the affidavit.

About 10 to 15 minutes later, the school resource officer called back to say he had contacted Barnacastle who was allegedly upstairs and sleeping.

Barnacastle exited the home about five minutes later and was advised of what had taken place. CYS then entered the home to proceed with an investigation.

Barnacastle has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 4 with magisterial District Judge Jacqueline Mizerock.

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