ELYRIA — An Elyria father was charged with child endangering the day after police found his 4-year-old child wandering around the street alone.
The 4-year-old was found by a witness on West Avenue and 15th Street at 11:45 p.m. Thursday. The woman called police and stayed with the boy, who reportedly was trying to cross the street alone.
Police said the boy was shivering in the 28 degree weather, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans, and appeared to be scared and disoriented. He was taken to his grandfather’s house after attempts to locate the boy’s home failed.
Police met with the boy’s father, Jesse Bolt Sr., 31, at his home on 13th Street. Bolt told officers he was giving the children a shower and checked on them before going to bed when he was awoken at 3 a.m. by his wife who noticed the front door was open.
The parents contacted the Police Department and were told the child was at his grandfather’s house, according to a police report.
“Mr. Bolt stated that he should not be in trouble, and if anything, his son should be charged with being a runaway,” the report said.
Police told Bolt that since the child was 4, it was his responsibility to make sure his son was not wandering the streets. He was advised to install a different locking mechanism on the door to prevent the children from leaving the home.
Bolt said the door is not usually locked at the top so his wife can get into the home after work.
He was issued a citation for child endangering by police and ordered to appear in court on Nov. 26.
Police said the incident warranted charges as the same thing happened last year — that time involving the child’s mother, Viola Bolt.
Police said the child, then 3, was found in the middle of the street with his 2-year-old sister at 9:11 a.m.
Three women, who happened to be in the area, grabbed the children before they were hit by cars, according to a police report. Police found Viola Bolt sleeping at her home on Middle Avenue.
She was charged with two counts of child endangering, but those charges were dismissed in Elyria Municipal Court.
Lt. Chris Costantino said the Police Department would contact Lorain County Children Services to make them aware of the recent incident.
Viola and Jesse Bolt could not be reached for comment Friday, but according to a comment from Viola Bolt on The Chronicle-Telegram’s Facebook page, everyone was asleep for the night and precautions were taken, including locking the doors, when the 4-year-old unlocked the door and left.
Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.