Jesse Daniels, 53, is accused of endangering the welfare of children for the actions he took after catching four boys in the act of vandalizing his father-in-law’s home. With extensive damage done to the inside of the house, Daniels and his wife called 911 — and he went inside of the residence to confront the boys.
But that’s not all: Daniels put the kids inside of a closet while he waited for authorities to arrive. It was this latter action that created an even bigger legal conundrum.
The vandalism unfolded in Clyde, New York, a small town between between Rochester and Syracuse. Daniels lives next door to the home — his father-in-law’s residence that is under continued renovation — and when he heard noises and saw the lights on over the weekend, he knew something was wrong.
WHAM-TV has more about how the incident unfolded:
The incident unfolded around 9 p.m. Saturday when Jesse Daniels said he told his wife to call 911 after he heard loud noises coming from the home next door and saw an individual striking a wall with a hammer.
Daniels tells 13WHAM News he ran next door and found four children, ages eight and ten, doing damage to the property. Daniels said he took a hammer from one of the kids and corralled them into a closet while he waited for police to arrive. Daniels estimated that the damage to his father-in-law’s property exceeds $40,000.
Clyde Village Police took the children back to their parents and filed felony criminal charges of Burglary 2nd Degree and Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree. Those cases will be handled in Family Court and the results of each case is likely to remain sealed.
Now, here’s where the details take a turn. Two days after this debacle, the police went back to Daniels’ home and arrested him. The parents of the children, claiming that the man threatened the kids with the hammer and was rough with them, insisted that charges be filed. So, Daniels faces four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
The local man could face up to one year in county jail for each offense, meaning that a total of four years of detention, pending Daniels receives the max penalty, could be his ultimate penalty.
The children’s motivation for the attack on the home isn’t known, however WHAM-TV reports that Daniels claims that the boys were riding ATVs earlier in the evening on Saturday and that his wife told them to get off of their property. The home attack may have been a retaliatory act, he contends.
Accounts of what unfolded that night differ greatly. While Daniels claims he merely put the children in the closet and told them to “be cool” until authorities arrived, the parents of the kids claim that Daniels went as far as to grab one of them by the throat; the boys, they claim, are traumatized by what unfolded.