WATERVILLE, Maine — A Waterville dad was summoned Thursday after his 2-year-old son was found wandering city streets for the second time in three months, according to police.
Vance Gray, 30, of Hathaway Street is facing a charge of endangering the welfare of a child after the toddler was found walking unsupervised at the corner of Front and Leighton streets, according to Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey.
“That apartment building is on a fairly small quiet side street but there are very busy streets nearby,” Rumsey said.
When Waterville police Officer Galen Estes responded, he recognized the boy from a similar incident in April, Rumsey said. A knock on the door at Gray’s apartment yielded no response. Officers entered through the unlocked door.
Inside, police found another child, a 6-month-old, sleeping on the living room floor, while Gray was also asleep upstairs, according to Rumsey. Michelle Snell, the boy’s mother, wasn’t home.
“It was a distressing case but we were lucky in the sense that Officer Estes immediately recognized the child from having been involved in the previous incident,” Rumsey explained.
The case has been turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services, Rumsey said. The boy was released to his parents’ custody after police found him.
The Class D misdemeanor charge against Gray carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail. He is due in court Sept. 18. Rumsey said it’s unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved in Thursday’s incident.
In the previous incident, the boy wandered outside in 40-degree weather without a jacket on and was found an hour later. No charges were filed in that incident.