Vandals caught, victim charged

Posted at: 06/17/2013 6:01 PM
Updated at: 06/17/2013 6:08 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

A Wayne County man is facing charges because police say he locked four children in a closet until police showed up. The children, who live in the neighborhood, are accused of vandalizing the house.

Police say the neighbors have been at each other for a while and it escalated last week.

Police say two of the children are eight-years-old and two of them are 10-years-old.

One night last week, Jesse Daniels heard vandals inside the house next to him. The house belongs to his father-in-law and they were in the process of renovating it. When Daniels went in, he says he found four neighborhood children tearing the place up with hammers and paint.

Jesse Daniels said, “Under the circumstances, what I saw in there, it looked like a bomb went off.”

Daniels shared pictures with News10NBC. In the pictures, you can see the paint on the walls, the broken windows and the shattered bathroom sink. Daniels says he confronted the children, grabbed their hammers and locked them in a closet until police arrived.

Daniels said, “When I had them in the closet, I said, 'You guys know me. I'm your neighbor. Why did you do this?'”

Daniels talked to News10NBC Monday, standing next to the mayor of Clyde and the police officer who charged him. They're all friends. Daniels says he never threatened the children, but police still charged him with endangering them.

Mayo Jerry Fremouw, Village of Clyde, said, “Jesse and I are good friends. We're all friends with Jesse. A lot of us support Jesse. It's not us against Jesse. The police department acted appropriately. They did what they were told to do. They did what the law says they have to do.”

News10NBC spoke with the father of two of the children. He asked not to have his face shown.

News10NBC's Berkeley Brean said, “Did you talk to your children at all about what they did?”

Paul Bowler, father, said, “No, I'm going to let the courts do that.”

Brean said, “You're not going to discipline them at all for going into Jesse's father-in-law's house?”

Bowler said, “No, they've been grounded. They haven't left the yard since then.”

Brean said, “Do you regret what you did?”

Daniels said, “Absolutely not. I would have done it again. I would do it again.”

Daniels is charged with endangering the four children. The children are charged with criminal mischief. Their case will be handled in family court and that's not public.

Police say you have a right to protect their home, but in this case, they say Daniels should have just called police and not try to be one.