'Intoxicated' Tallmadge man arrested after son, 2, called 911

Police wake father, force apartment door open

Kent Weeklies

TALLMADGE — After telling the police dispatcher he is 2, the little boy can be heard explaining on the 911 recording why he was calling.

“I don’t want to go to Daddy’s, I want to go to Mommy’s,” he said. “I want to go home.”

At the time, mid-afternoon on May 16, the boy was at his father’s North Thomas Road apartment. The boy said his father was “on the back couch” in an incident that would lead the 27-year-old man, according to Stow Municipal Court records, to pleading guilty two days later to misdemeanor charges of endangering children and obstructing official business.

According to complaints police filed with the court, the boy was alone with his “severely intoxicated” father.

Police Chief Ron Williams said Tuesday that he was still wondering how the boy could have known to call 911.

“I think that’s a pretty grownup 2-year-old,” he said.

During the call, which lasted a little over 10 minutes, the dispatcher spent several minutes trying to get information from the boy — his name, his parents’ names, the address — as the call was being traced.

“What are you doing there?” and “Is your Daddy awake?” the dispatcher asked.

When the police arrived, pounding can be heard on the apartment door and the dispatcher tried to get the boy to go to the door to let the officers in.

“Are you able to walk to the front door?” she asked, but he replied, “I can’t do that. Dads do that.”

Williams said police pounded on the door for awhile.

“Eventually, the father woke up, came to the door disoriented and impaired,” he said. “They were telling him they needed to check on the welfare of the child. He proceeded to yell at them and he locked the door.”

In a second, briefer 911 call, the father can be heard in an exchange with the dispatcher.

“I’ve got the cops at my door,” he said.

“We received a 911 call from this phone number,” the dispatcher responded, explaining they were Tallmadge police.

“Listen,” said the father, “I’m at the door and I’m telling them everything’s OK. They’re trying to rip my door off the hinges.”

“They just need to make contact with you. You need to open the door. You need to talk to them,” the dispatcher responded.

Williams said the officers took matters into their own hands.

“After awhile of this back and forth, him yelling at them, they decided that due to his condition, they needed to check on the 2-year-old,” he said. “As they were trying to force their way in and he was blocking, eventually the door was broken and they came in. After they secured him, he became more cognizant.”

Williams said police were able to contact the boy’s mother, the custodial parent, who came and picked him up. Police also reported the matter to Summit County Children Services, said Williams, but he did not have any information about the outcome.

According to court records, the man was ordered to pay $638, including $350 in fines plus court costs on an installment plan. He was then released from Cuyahoga Falls City Jail.

Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at jsaunders@recordpub.com or @JeffSaunders_RP.