Oil City Residents Charged With Child Endangerment After Children Left Unsupervised

| September 18, 2019

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – Two Oil City residents are facing felony child endangerment charges after they allegedly left their five young children unsupervised on several occasions.

According to court documents, the Oil City Police Department filed criminal charges against 28-year-old Autumn Dawn Doyle and 34-year-old Richard James Ware II, both of Oil City.

The charges are the result of an investigation initiated by Venango County Children and Youth Services (CYS) on September 11 involving Doyle and Ware.

According to a criminal complaint, during the time period of September 10 through September 17, Autumn Dawn Doyle and Richard James Ware II breached their duty of care for the welfare of five minor children, ranging in from age three to age 10.

According to the complaint, an investigation was initiated on September 10, after Venango County CYS received a report from a concerned individual regarding a lack of supervision and care for several minor children of the Doyle/Ware family. The individual stated that the children go for long periods of time without parental supervision, during which time they’d been observed playing on the front porch roof, as well as playing outside without any clothing. One child was reportedly nearly struck by a vehicle while riding a bike on the roadway.

The complaint notes the children were also often truant from school.

A follow-up investigation was conducted by a CYS caseworker on September 11.

According to the complaint, the caseworker specifically addressed all of the issued reported, and Doyle and Ware both denied the claims. Doyle and Ware were both warned that if the report was validated, or future reports of similar circumstances resulted in a response by police, they could potentially be arrested for child endangerment.

Both Doyle and Ware acknowledged that they understood, according to the complaint.

On September 17, a concerned citizen reported several small children running around outside the residence, on West Front Street, with the parents not home. The citizen stated this occurs quite frequently. When asked for the approximate ages, the citizen reported twins around the age of four and two children of school age who were not in school.

Sr. Patrolman Culp responded to the scene.

Upon his arrival, Patrolman Culp discovered the circumstances matched the citizen’s report.

According to the complaint, Patrolman Culp spoke to a 10-year-old child who was left in charge. When asked, the child stated he did not know where his parents were and said possibly “the clinic” or Country Fair, but he did not know for certain.

The complaint notes that through investigation, Patrolman Culp discovered the children were left unattended for approximately 40 minutes before their mother arrived at the scene. Additionally, it was discovered the children had no means to contact their parents in case of an emergency. The only phone left in the home for them could only call 9-1-1, the phone charger for the phone was broken, and the children were unaware of its location.

According to the complaint, while in the interview room with the children and Doyle, Patrolman Culp overheard a conversation between Doyle and one of the children who asked why Doyle was going to jail, to which Doyle replied, “Because I was wrong. I was not supposed to leave you alone this morning.”

The child then stated: “But mommy, you leave us alone all the time,” and Doyle asked: “When…like we did last night?” the complaint indicates.

Doyle was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Andrew F. Fish at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 17 on one third-degree felony count of endangering the welfare of children.

Unable to post $15,000.00 monetary bail, she was lodged in the Venango County Jail.

A preliminary hearing for Doyle is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 25, with Judge Fish presiding.

Court documents indicate one third-degree felony count of endangering the welfare of children was also filed against Ware.

A warrant issued for his arrest remains active as of 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 18.


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