Child endangerment, unlike child abuse, requires no physical injury

Being totally dependent on adults for their well-being, children are the most vulnerable members of our society and deserve our care, consideration, and protection. Although endangering the welfare of a child may or may not amount to child abuse, it is still a serious charge that could carry severe penalties if convicted. Child endangerment, unlike child abuse, requires no physical injury but prohibits a much broader category of behavior. Child endangerment may be charged if you caused or permitted a child in your custody to be put in a dangerous situation and were criminally negligent.

A skateboarder spotted the abandoned toddler

A grandfather was arrested in San Diego’s Chula Vista area overnight after he allegedly abandoned his 2-year-old grandson on a sidewalk for several hours while he went to a taco shop to eat a burrito.

A skateboarder spotted the abandoned toddler – fast asleep inside a jogging stroller – at around 11:30 p.m. and called police.

When officers arrived on scene, they were unable to immediately locate the child’s parents and the boy was taken into protective custody while police launched an investigation.

Police said the boy’s 17-year-old mother called authorities looking for her child. Police said she was hysterical and told officials her son’s grandfather had taken the toddler out at 10 p.m. to get a burrito. At 1 a.m. the family went looking for the child and found the grandfather sitting at a local taco shop, eating a burrito.

Chula Vista police officers took the grandfather into custody on charges of child cruelty with the possibility of resulting in injury or death and being under the influence of drugs. He was booked into San Diego Central Jail.

Defense in this particular case may prove difficult, but other cases of child endangerment may hinge on whether the defendant acted willfully or was criminally negligent. Questions, like these, should be discussed with a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can determine whether your behavior rises to the level of criminality.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman