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Uniontown dad charged after 2-year-old daughter found wandering alone

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A 28-year-old Uniontown man was jailed after his 2-year-old daughter wandered alone in the middle of Montview Street in the city Tuesday afternoon while he was allegedly passed out on his couch, police said.

Shawn A. Hodgetts Jr. of 312 W. Main St., had to be awakened by police at about 2:35 p.m. and told that his daughter had been spotted by a passer-by walking on Montview Street, near West Main Street, city police Lt. Thomas Kolencik stated in the criminal complaint. The girl was crying, had dirt on her face and was wearing a wet diaper when she was found, police said.

Hodgetts was charged by city police with endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arraigned before Belle Vernon District Judge Jesse Cramer and placed in the Fayette County Jail in lieu of $4,500 bond, Kolencik said.

According to the criminal complaint, the man who found the girl alone notified police and went to neighboring houses in search of her parents or guardian. Kolencik said he went to Hodgetts' residence because he saw a child's swing set and observed a man later identified as Hodgetts, lying unresponsive on the couch. The man did not respond to the officer kicking the door or yelling at him and did not awaken until Kolencik rubbed his sternum. Kolencik said he could smell a strong odor of alcohol on Hodgetts.

Police found the back door to Hodgetts' residence open.

Another officer checking the house for other children allegedly found a drug smoking device on a living room table next to the couch where Hodgetts was asleep, the affidavit stated.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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