Fairfield man faces child endangerment charges after son, 2, wanders outside

Posted June 14, 2013, at 1:03 p.m.

FAIRFIELD, Maine — A Fairfield man is facing charges after his 2-year-old son wandered outside twice over the course of a week, according to police.

Michael Stewart, 33, is accused of two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class D misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison, according to acting Fairfield police Chief Joseph Massey.

The charges against Stewart stem from incidents that occurred on June 5 and on Wednesday, according to Massey.

On June 5, police received a call shortly after 9 p.m. that a 2-year-old boy was in the middle of the road on Main Street, according to Massey.

Upon arriving on scene, officers questioned an individual who directed them to Stewart’s home on Winter Street, the police chief said.

Stewart claimed that he had forgot to lock the door and the child got outside, Massey said. He was issued a summons for endangering the welfare of a child.

A week later, a motorist stopped by the Fairfield police station around 8 p.m. and claimed he had seen a child on Main Street near the railroad trestle, Massey explained.

Before contacting police, the man picked up the child and a woman standing outside her home asked if he knew whose child it was, and left the boy with her as he went to contact police, Massey said.

While police were en route to the area where the boy was found, dispatched radioed them and stated that the woman had the child and she knew who the parents were, Massey said.

That led police back to Stewart, who again claimed he didn’t know where the toddler was and his front door was unlocked. After questioning him, police decided to arrest him and charge him with another count of endangering the welfare of a child.

“As parents you need to be vigilant,” Massey warned. “There comes a point where its unacceptable where you don’t know a 2-year-old is out of the house at 9 in one incident and at 8 in another.”

The chief said the Department of Health and Human Services has been contacted. Stewart was brought to the Fairfield police station and released on bail.

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