A North Manheim Township, Pennsylvania, dad accused of leaving his three children alone at home, with one locked up in a makeshift crate, was apparently visiting his girlfriend, the children’s mother, who was in the hospital dealing with complications after having a newborn baby.
Cecil “Gene” Kutz, of the 300 block of Chestnut Street in Schuylkill County, was arrested on Thursday after leaving his 1-year-old son, 22-month-old son, and his 1-day-old daughter home alone. Police found one child in a makeshift cage, another child in a playpen, and the newborn sitting in a baby seat on the floor. When questioned by investigators, Kutz reportedly told them that the children’s mother, Tiffany George, delivered the newborn at home and went to hospital shortly after because of excessive bleeding. He said he left his kids at home to go visit her.
“The kids were not in any type of danger,” George said, while describing the makeshift cage.
According to police, the cage, made of plywood and bolted from the outside with a lock, had toys, food, and a mattress inside. All three children were taken into State Police custody after the Schuylkill County City and Youth Services (CYS) and the Schuylkill Haven troopers performed a welfare check at the home and discovered them alone.
WNEP reports that one neighbor claimed that the couple didn’t “stand out” and that the family seemed normal.
“He seemed like a generally nice guy but … that’s how weirdos are. They’re nice on the outside but deep down inside they’re no good. I hope he gets what he gets,” said neighbor, Matthew Condash.
Another neighbor, however, described Kutz as a “strange dude” and said it wasn’t a surprise to hear about what happened.
A North Manheim Township resident who asked to not be identified said that although she understood how difficult caring for children alone could be, she cried when she heard Kutz left three young children home alone.
According to the arrest affidavit, authorities “didn’t see any evidence that the baby even had any baby formula inside the residence nor did we (find) evidence that the baby was fed at all, such as a used baby bottle etc.”
Kutz was arrested and charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of children, along with three counts of recklessly endangering another person. He’s behind bars on a $25,000 bail. He scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 24 at 1 p.m.
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]