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Man says he left child alone while he ran errands

Published October 18. 2019 12:24PM

A Palmerton man has been charged with endangering the welfare of children.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Detective Kevin Buck of the Palmerton Borough Police Department:

At 12:05 p.m. Sept. 20, Buck received a call from a woman who said that her mother had witnessed a man identified as Kenneth Shafer, 31, currently homeless, walking eastbound on Delaware Avenue.

The caller said that Shafer was supposed to be at the residence providing care for their 2-year-old son, and that her mother had gone to the residence after seeing Shafer.

Upon entering the unlocked home, her mother found the 2-year-old alone in his crib crying, fully clothed, with a jacket on and a heavily soiled diaper.

She then took protective custody of the child and notified his mother.

Buck located Shafer, who was walking westbound on the 100 block of Delaware Avenue.

Shafer told Buck that he needed to run to the store and that it wasn’t going to be long, so he assumed it was not a big deal.

Shafer said that he had placed his son in for a nap at 11:45 a.m., and that at 12:10 p.m. proceeded to the Gulf station to get milk and other items.

Shafer said that at 12:15 p.m. he returned to get another item he had forgotten, but they didn’t have it, so he walked to the Family Dollar to purchase the item and was returning home when Buck located him.

Buck went to Family Dollar, and upon viewing the video, found that Shafer entered the store at 12:11 p.m. and departed at 12:13 p.m., therefore showing the child was left alone longer than the originally stated time of 12:10 p.m.

The Gulf station video showed that Shafer entered the first time at 11:31 a.m. and then returned to the store at 11:44 a.m., both times alone.

During the interview, Shafer confirmed that the child was left alone in the home.

Shafer faces charges of endangering welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.

He is free in lieu of $5,000 unsecured bail, and is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Nov. 6 before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.

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