Monday, July 28, 2014

Parents who locked five-year-old son in boot of car to cure his fear of the dark given probation

A western Pennsylvania couple, accused of luring their five-year-old son into the trunk of their car with candy to resolve his fear of the dark, were granted probation this week.

Jeffrey and Danielle Lenhart were charged with felony child endangerment and reckless endangerment for locking their son in the car during three trips to the Idlewild amusement park in Lingonier, Pennsylvania, in July 2013. They gave him a flashlight and told him to look for sweets before locking the trunk at the park, about 9.5-miles (15 km) from their home in Latrobe, court officials said.

They were accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition programme on Thursday in a deal approved by Westmoreland County Judge Richard McCormick Jr., according to Danielle Lenhart's lawyer, Deborah Jackson. "She recognizes the serious nature of what has happened and I don't think we will see her in court again," Jackson said of her client. The incidents came to light when one of the couple's children was interviewed by child welfare officials for undisclosed reasons.

The boy and another sibling, who is 4, have been staying with relatives following the charges, but will be returned to the home, court officials said. A younger sibling, 1, has already been reunited with the parents. Upon completion of two years probation, charges against the Lenharts will be dismissed and records expunged, Jackson said. A previous judge in the case did not want to allow the Lenharts to enter the rehabilitative program, but Jackson said she was pleased with McCormick's decision.

There's a news video from an earlier court hearing here. In this report the child is wrongly identified as being aged three.


Anonymous said...

Maybe a few neighborhood goombahs could teach the parents what being stuffed into a trunk really feels like. (Are there mob guys in western PA?)


xoxoxoBruce said...

Yeah yeah yeah, the law says all children have to be strapped into government approved restraints, so it was illegal. But, was the kid injured?
Now what they did was illegal and they got caught, so they get punished. But the typical government agency over reaction does more damage than the parents.
And before you start, yes, I’ve ridden in the closed trunk of a car. And in the bed of pick-ups. And in the back of dump trucks. And on the top of a load of hay.