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Westmoreland

West Newton parents accused of refusing to have infant treated for medical concerns

Paul Peirce
| Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, 10:48 a.m.

The parents of an infant girl in West Newton were arrested Saturday on charges of child endangerment and reckless endangerment for failing to follow a pediatrician’s advice to have the child treated at an area hospital for concerns over low weight and having a below-normal body temperature.

Tiffany M. Aquilina, 37, and Robert J. Aquilina, 38, were arraigned before Night Court District Judge Denise Thiel of Ligonier on charges filed by borough police. They were ordered held in the county jail on $50,000 bond each.

In court documents, Officer Michael Stefko said he received a call late Friday afternoon from Westmoreland County Children’s Services that Tiffany Aquilina had brought her newborn daughter for a pediatrician checkup that morning. The doctor recommended the parents take the 7-week-old child to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment.

“(The medical staff) reported the child smelled of marijuana and that Mrs. Aquilina’s toxicology screen tested positive for heroin and marijuana,” Stefko reported.

According to court documents. the pediatrician’s staff checked later Friday and found the infant had not been taken to the hospital. Westmoreland County Children’s Services was notified.

“(Children’s Services) did attempt to contact Mrs. Aquilina several times. Mrs. Aquilina (eventually) did respond to CYS and stated that she and her husband were taking the child to the state of Ohio and that if CYS called again Mrs. Aquilina was going to sue CYS,” Stefko wrote.

The pediatrician’s office reported Mrs. Aquilina told staff she had to get clothes at home before taking the child to the hospital.

Police arrested the Aquilinas. The infant was removed from their custody.

Borough police could not be reached for comment. An attorney for the Aquilinas is not listed in online court documents.

The Aquilinas have a preliminary hearing Feb. 25 before Rostraver District Judge Charles Christner.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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