FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – A Fort Wayne couple are facing neglect charges after they were accused of leaving two young children in a car while ordering drinks at a local bar, court documents show. Allen Superior Court.
The children’s mother is also accused of hitting her daughter, according to court documents.
Fort Wayne police arrested John Thomas Wiley II and Brittany Accapella Griffin, 33, after they were called to the Latch String Bar & Grill on the north side of town near Glenbrook Square just before 11 p.m. Friday.
A bartender told police Wiley and Griffin entered the bar and ordered food and drinks. They were inside for about 30 to 45 minutes when the bartender noticed they had left two young children in their car – who were both later identified as a 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy, according to court documents. .
It was then that the bartender asked them to leave.
An officer noted in court papers that the outside temperature was 76 degrees at the time of the call.
After the couple walked out, the bartender said he saw them moving the car. Then the car began to sway violently as if a physical altercation was occurring inside, the bartender told police.
The bartender called security and broke up a fight between the man and the woman, according to court documents. One of the children, the daughter, then told the bartender that her mother had hit her.
When officers arrived, Wiley wouldn’t tell them what had happened. He admitted he and Griffin walked into the bar and had two drinks while the kids were in the car, but didn’t talk about a possible battery.
When an officer attempted to speak to the children, Wiley said they could not be trusted and were “lying”, according to court documents.
The boy told the officers that the two adults entered the bar and left him and the girl outside. The girl started crying, and that’s when Griffin came back to the car and punched her in the face, according to court documents.
An officer noticed a blood-covered blanket in the car and the girl’s swollen face. Doctors at the scene said the children needed medical attention, according to court documents.
Griffin was not at the scene when officers arrived, according to court documents. She later approached while officers were speaking with bar staff. She claimed she was not at the bar when police were called and instead walked from a friend’s house because Wiley had her car.
Bar staff, however, identified her as the woman Wiley was with.
Asked about the girl’s injuries, Griffin denied hitting her. Griffin told officers that the girl sometimes had nosebleeds. She could not explain the swelling in the girl’s face, according to court documents.
Wiley and Griffin appeared to be intoxicated, according to court documents. Later, a blood test showed Griffin had a blood alcohol level of 0.28 percent, according to court documents.
Both were incarcerated in Allen County Jail.
Wiley faces two counts of neglect of a dependent and is being held on $5,000 bond.
Griffin faces two counts of household battery – one involving injury to a person under 14 and one in the presence of a person under 16 – and two counts of neglecting a person. dependent. She was eventually released on her own recognizance and ordered not to use drugs or alcohol while in custody.
She was also ordered not to have any contact with the children.