Year-old baby boy taken on motorcycle ride, father charged
A Lansford man faces child endangerment and other charges after taking his year-old son on a motorcycle ride down a borough street.
Patrick Kelly Jr., 26, 19 E. Kline Ave., faces the charges from an incident which took place on April 6 on E. Kline Avenue. Charges of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of riding on motorcycles were filed by Officer Christopher Ondrus.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, here's what happened:
Ondrus received a dispatch to talk with Kelly's neighbor, who told him Kelly had taken his baby on the motorcycle down the street to a store. Kelly had gotten back and was at the neighbor's house. The neighbor put him on the phone with Ondrus.
Ondrus identified himself to Kelly, who he knew from various previous encounters.
Kelly readily admitted to have taken the baby on the motorcycle, telling Ondrus that his mother couldn't care for him because she had had surgery last year and could not lift the baby. Kelly told Ondrus that he knew it was wrong to do that, and that he was sorry and would not do it again.
Kelly asked the officer to "give him a break" because he had held the baby between his legs, had driven down Bertsch Street instead of on Route 209, had driven only 10 mph and because the bike has only a 250cc engine.
Further, Kelly said, he had taken a motorcycle safety course last year and had gotten his license.
Kelly later called the police station to apologize for his actions. He invited Ondrus to come look at how he had had his son placed on the motorcycle. Ondrus took him up on the invite, and watched as Kelly demonstrated how he had sat and held his baby.
Ondrus asked him if he had both hands on the handle bars as he drove, and Kelly said he did.
Ondrus pointed out that it would have been impossible for Kelly to have held his baby with both hands and also have both hands on the handle bars.
Kelly agreed, and also acknowledged that the baby did not have a helmet or goggles on during the ride.
The neighbor gave police a written statement as to what he knew, and told police that his wife had seen Kelly take the baby on the bike. She had asked him if he was going to ride with the baby, and he said yes, that he was going to the store.
Police contacted Kelly, who came in to the station to be interviewed. He was again given, and waived, his Miranda rights, and again told police he was sorry for taking his son on the bike.
Kelly said that he had since read the vehicle code regarding motorcycles and passengers, and that he now understood them.