FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne couple are both facing neglect charges after being accused of leaving two young children in a car while they ordered drinks inside a local bar, according to Allen Superior Court documents.
The mother of the children is also accused of hitting her daughter, court documents said.
Fort Wayne Police arrested 33-year-olds John Thomas Wiley II and Brittany Accapella Griffin after being called to the Latch String Bar & Grill on the city’s north side near Glenbrook Square just before 11 p.m. Sunday.
A bartender told police Wiley and Griffin came into the bar and ordered food and drinks. They were inside for roughly 30 to 45 minutes when the bartender noticed they had left two small children in their car – both of whom were later identified as a 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy, according to court documents.
That’s when the bartender asked them to leave.
An officer noted in court documents the outside temperature was 76 degrees at the the time of the call.
After the couple walked out, the bartender said he watched them move the car. Then the car began rocking back and forth violently as if a physical altercation was happening within, the bartender told police.
The bartender summoned security and broke up a fight between the man and woman, court documents said. One of the children, the girl, then told the bartender her mother hit her.
When officers arrived, Wiley would not tell them what happened. He admitted that he and Griffin went into the bar and consumed two drinks while the children were in the car, but would not talk about any possible battery.
When an officer tried to talk to the children, Wiley said they could not be trusted and were “lying,” according to court documents.
The boy told officers the two adults went into the bar and left he and the girl outside. The girl began crying, and that’s when Griffin came back out to the car and hit her in the face, according to court documents.
An officer noticed a blanket covered in blood in the car and the girl’s swollen face. Medics at the scene said the children needed medical attention, according to court documents.
Griffin was not at the scene when officers arrived, court documents said. She later walked up while officers were talking with bar staff. She claimed she was not at the bar at the time police were called and instead walked all the way from a friend’s home because Wiley had her car.
Bar staff, though, identified her as the woman Wiley was with.
When asked about injuries to the girl, Griffin denied striking her. Griffin told officers the girl sometimes had nosebleeds. She could not explain away the swelling to girl’s face, according to court documents.
Both Wiley and Griffin appeared intoxicated, according to court documents. Later, a blood draw showed Griffin had a blood-alcohol-content of .28 percent, court documents said.
Both were booked into Allen County Jail.
Wiley is facing two felony counts of neglect of a dependent and is being held on $5,000 bond.
Griffin is facing two felony counts of domestic battery – one with injury to someone under 14 and one in the presence of someone under 16 – and two felony counts of neglect of a dependent. She was eventually released on her own recognizance and ordered to not consume drugs or alcohol while out on bond.
She was also ordered to have no contact with the children.