Elkins man facing child neglect charges
ELKINS — An Elkins man is facing felony child neglect charges.
Joshua Devon Smith, 33, is charged with child neglect creating risk of injury. Bond was set at $25,000 by Randolph County Magistrate Mike Dyer.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Senior Patrolman C.G. Boatwright of the Elkins City Police, on Aug. 9 at approximately 6:45 p.m., he and Senior Patrolman D.T. Sayre were advised of a juvenile female throwing scissors at other children while her father was “passed out” inside their Gateway Apartments residence.
Boatwright stated that he made contact with the child upon arrival and asked if her parents were around, and she informed him that her father was inside the apartment but may be asleep. The report states that Boatwright then followed the child to the apartment door coming from a back room.
“I then observed multiple cans of alcoholic beverage, an open knife, spilled liquid and food all over,” Boatwright wrote.
The report states that the male subject identified himself as Smith and went outside to speak to Boatwright, at which time the officer “could smell a very strong odor of alcoholic beverage” coming from Smith.
When asked, Smith stated that he had been drinking the previous night but had not drank that day, says the report.
According to the report, Boatwright then obtained permission from Smith to enter the residence, where he “obtained pictures of the filth, alcoholic beverages (ranging) from empty to full, and the open knife.”
“I located a bucket in the bathroom that contained human feces,” Boatwright wrote. Smith reportedly informed him that “the toilet was stopped up and there was nowhere else for them to go.”
The report states that Smith consented to provide a breath sample, which produced a blood alcohol content reading of .230. Boatwright then had E911 contact Child Protective Services.
According to the report, the child then stated that she had a brother, and Boatwright inquired as to his whereabouts.
“Joshua stated he was outside playing somewhere,” said Boatwright, adding that the boy was nowhere to be found. Boatwright then asked the juvenile female if she knew where he was, to which she replied that he was at his aunt’s residence.
When asked, Smith allegedly said that the child “must not have came home from yesterday evening.”
“Joshua then stated he had been asleep most of the day while the kids ‘did whatever they wanted,'” wrote Boatwright.
The report states that CPS arrived on scene and took custody of the juvenile female. Boatwright contacted the aunt, who informed him that the male child was fine.
Smith was then arrested and transported to the Elkins Police Department and Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
If convicted, Smith could be facing up to five years in prison.