SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A man and woman from Susquehanna County are facing child endangerment charges after police say they locked children in a dog cage, denied them showers, and fed them out of pails.
According to police, an unknown person called Lackawanna County Children and Youth Services and reported a child that was being taken care of by 52-year-old Roberta Shay and 40-year-old Christopher Finkler was being punished by being locked in a cage.
Upon receiving the report, CYS detectives responded to the home in the 520 block of Gibbons Street to investigate and say they found a three by three by four-foot dog crate as well as a “hook and eye” style lock on the outside of his bedroom door.
During an interview, detectives say Shay admitted to locking the victim in a bedroom to “keep him and everyone else safe,” but denied locking him in a crate, and said she could not confirm what happened when Finkler was caring for the victim. Police say Finkler also denied locking the victim in a crate.
The criminal complaint says the victim’s 17-year-old brother was interviewed and said both boys had tried to run away because they were not being treated well, and that’s when Shay and Fink locked the younger brother in a crate and the older brother in his room.
The 17-year-old told investigators they were fed food from buckets, only let out to use the bathroom, and were not allowed to shower as punishment, according to court records.
Investigators say Shay said the boys were making this up because they were “mad as to why the allegation was made.”
Both Shay and Fink are charged with child endangerment.