Smithton man accused of leaving toddlers home alone
A Smithton man who asked state police to look at his home security video in order to prove he had not left two toddlers home alone probably wishes he hadn’t make the offer.
Troopers charged Mel R. Anastasiu, 41, this week with two counts of endangering the welfare of children, reckless endangerment, failing to confine dogs and a single count of driving while his operating privileges were revoked.
The footage showed that Anastasiu left the children unattended for 33 minutes, police reported in court documents.
According to an affidavit filed before Rostraver District Judge Charles Christner, troopers Zachary Jasper and Timothy Gordon were called to Anastasiu’s residence about 10 p.m. Aug. 18 for a report of possible shots being fired and dogs running loose.
Troopers arrived to find dogs unsecured with no one appearing to be home, they reported. Anastasiu then pulled in the driveway with a 3-year-old inside his van and invited the troopers inside, saying he had driven to the nearby Smithton Truck Stop.
Inside the house, troopers reported discovering another 3-year-old and a 1-year-old left unattended.
Anastasiu said his wife was home when he left “and indicated he had a security system installed and allowed us to view it,” Jasper reported.
The security video showed that Anastasiu’s wife left home before her husband, and that Anastasiu left the children unattended for 33 minutes, Jasper said.
A preliminary hearing will be scheduled before Christner.