Man charged after leaving child unsupervised in the streets of Clarksburg for approximately 1 hour


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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A man has been charged after leaving a child in his care unsupervised in the streets of Clarksburg for approximately an hour.

On May 23, officers with the Clarksburg Police Department responded to the area of Laurel Lanes in Clarksburg for a welfare check, according to a criminal complaint.

When officers arrived, they made contact with a man who was standing at a bus stop in front of Laurel Lanes with a female toddler who was only wearing a diaper, officers said.

The man told officers that he had seen a woman walking with the toddler, and that he “had stopped and asked the female if everything okay,” to which the woman replied that “she was looking for the toddler’s parents,” according to the complaint.

Between the time the man saw the woman and the toddler walking until the time he called 911 was only 15 minutes, officers said.

After being on scene for approximatly 20 minutes, Joel Dones, 27, of Clarksburg, “came over and identified the toddler” and Dones “confirmed he was the caretaker at the time,” according to the complaint.

As a result, officers determined that the known time the 3-year-old child was not supervised and was missing from Dones’ care was approximately one hour, officers said.

On June 4, officers spoke with the woman who had found the toddler, and she stated that “she had found the toddler in the middle of the road,” and that “she walked up Richards Avenue because the child kept pointing in that direction,” according to the complaint.

After she had walked with the toddler for 20 minutes, the woman made contact with the man who originally called 911, officers said.

Dones has been charged with child neglect creating risk of death or serious bodily injury. He is currently out on bond.

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