A Lewis Center man pleaded guilty to a charge of endangering children on Jan. 4, one day after a 3-year-old boy was reportedly found wandering his neighborhood.
Steven C. Desir, 30, of 7841 Strawberry Hill Road, Lewis Center, appeared in Delaware Municipal Court on Jan. 4 to be arraigned on a charge of endangering children. Desir entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to a $250 fine and a year on probation. He also must complete a parenting class.
Desir was release from the Delaware County Jail after the hearing.
Officials from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office would not divulge the relationship between Desire and the 3-year-old boy because they said the case was still open.
Deputies received a call about 3:15 p.m. Jan 3. from a resident on Green Meadows Drive in Lewis Center — in the area of Dooley’s Orchard Apartments — who said he could see a young boy wandering around unattended. Deputies report the caller had observed the boy for a few minutes and called when he didn’t see anyone with the boy.
Deputies went to the scene and spoke to the boy, learning his first name but not his last name or where he was supposed to be. One deputy stayed with the boy while two others went door to door, hoping to find the boy’s caretaker. They were unsuccessful.
Deputies then contacted Children Services, which used an automated service to call area residents, seeking information about the boy. The sheriff’s office also used social media to seek information.
Eventually, someone who received the automated call reported that she believed she knew the boy’s identity and contacted one of the boy’s parents.
Deputies report a family member identified the boy and he was reunited with his family about 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3.
Deputies then began an investigation.
Officials from the sheriff’s office said Monday that because the case involves child endangerment and is still under investigation, they could not release the boy’s identity.