4 facing trial in Monongahela wandering boy case
Four members of a Monongahela family were ordered to stand trial on charges related to incidents involving a 6-year-old boy wearing only a diaper who was found wandering the streets.
John Matalik, 51; Celeste Bohnak, 36; Pamela Bohnak, 62; and Felicia Bohnak, 20, all of 404 Fourth St., each waived their right to a preliminary hearing on charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
They appeared Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Mark Wilson in Monongahela.
Celeste Bohnak and Matalik are identified in court documents as the boy's parents. Felicia Bohnak is identified as the boy's sister. Police said Pamela Bohnak is the child's grandmother.
Monongahela police Officer Roderic Henson said motorists saw a young boy walking in the middle of the Fourth Street 3:24 p.m. June 8. The boy was “filthy” and wearing a soiled diaper, police said.
Police said the child is autistic and unable to communicate with them. After officers located his residence two blocks away, police asked Matalik if he was missing anyone.
Matalik allegedly replied no, but then identified the child sitting in the back of the police cruiser as his son.
Pamela Bohnak allegedly told police they “usually chain the doors.” Police said she smelled of alcohol.
Washington County Children and Youth Services officials were contacted and the child was released to the care of his father, the complaint states.
At 12:36 p.m. the next day, Officer William Fusco was on patrol near the intersection of Fourth and Chess streets when he spotted the boy in traffic. The child appeared to be wearing the same diaper. A motorist told police the child was nearly hit by a car before running into a McDonald's restaurant.
When police returned to the child's residence, Celeste Bohnak allegedly came out yelling, “the police are here again,” and used obscene language.
Felicia Bohnak allegedly told police, “We had the door locked. We don't know how he got out,” according to a criminal complaint.
Celeste and Felicia Bohnak were also cited for disorderly conduct, CYS officials were again called to the residence, police said. Celeste Bohnak allegedly told the officer she had left the boy in the care of her daughter, Felicia.
Police said they had received previous reports from neighbors that the boy would open a second-floor window and climb onto the roof.
During the hearing, Wilson reduced Celeste Bohnak's and Felicia Bohnak's respective bond from $10,000 straight to unsecured. Matalik and Pamela Bohnak are free on $5,000 bond.
This is the third time Celeste Bohnak and Matalik have been charged with allowing their son to wander unsupervised while wearing only a diaper.
In 2011 the Donora police charged the couple.
In that case, Matalik was accepted to the Washington County Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time, nonviolent offenders. Celeste Bohnak was placed in the county's Intermediate Punishment Program.
She pleaded guilty to a charge of child endangerment in 2012 and was sentenced to six to 18 months in jail, but the confinement was revoked, according to court documents.
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.