A man in Clyde, N.Y., is facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child after he locked four kids in a closet for vandalizing his father-in-law’s home. Jeff Daniels said he corralled the kids — ages 8 to 10 — in the closet while he waited for police to arrive. He estimates the children did $50,000 worth of damage to the house’s walls, cupboards and cabinets using hammers and paint.
Daniels told 13WHAM it was 9 p.m. on a Saturday when his wife told him she heard noises coming from her father’s home next door. He told her to call 911 while he went over to check it out. Inside, he found four children destroying the house.
“So I grab the one hammer and the other three [boys] got hammers, now I don't know what to do here, I said you guys put that stuff down, what are you doing? Now they're startled because now they're caught,” Daniels said. "I was fortunate that they were in that room that had a closet, so I put them in the closet. I said listen you guys are staying here until the police come, period.”
Clyde Village Police returned the children to their parents, who live just down the street, and filed felony criminal charges of second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief.
"The anger you would never imagine that could come out of a young body like that," Daniels told YNN. "You can't imagine, it's unbelievable."
13WHAM published these pictures of the damage, which show paint-splattered floors and cupboards and a porcelain sink completely destroyed by a hammer.
On Monday police returned to Daniels’ home to arrest him on four counts of child endangerment. Children of the parents pressured authorities to make the arrest, claiming Daniels grabbed one child by the neck and threatened others with the hammer.
Daniels was arraigned and is due back in court later this month. He could face up to a year in jail on each charge.
He told 13WHAM that he and his wife saw the same kids on his property earlier that Saturday. He said his wife told them to leave and that they returned. Daniels thinks the vandalism was retaliation.