A York man who received $40 to babysit his niece and nephew while their father went out of town on Friday was arrested after a neighbor found him passed out drunk, recovering from what he called a “bad hangover,” while one of the children was in the house alone and the other was in an RV behind a trailer, deputies say.
A woman, 19, who lives on Jordan Drive, off Dr. Nichols Road, called deputies at about 5 p.m. expressing concerns that her neighbor left his young children with his brother, Michael Gary Wade, 26, while he went to a dirt track in Gastonia, according to a York County Sheriff’s report. She told deputies she did not know if that was a good idea because she found Wade passed out while he was supposed to be watching the kids three weeks ago.
The neighbor told police she tried calling the father, but was unable to reach him, the report states.
She and her fiancé walked to the house where they found the baby boy, 1, sitting in a playpen in the trailer by himself. They found the girl, 5, in an RV with Wade, who had passed out. The woman took the children to her house and called police.
Wade told deputies he drank whiskey all night and into the morning. He passed out as he recovered from a “bad hangover,” the report states. While deputies were speaking with him, Wade vomited “a couple times” and explained that his brother gave him $40 to babysit the kids, the report states. He said his brother did not know he was drunk.
The father told authorities he had no idea his brother was still drunk. Once his neighbor called him, he made his way back home.
Deputies believed that the father did not intentionally put his children in harm’s way and allowed him to reclaim them. Paramedics took Wade to Piedmont Medical Center at his request. He was released at 11:45 p.m. and then arrested, charged with two counts of unlawful neglect of a child.
By Monday morning, he remained jailed at the York County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond.