Two charged after strapping kids to hood of car

Aaron S. Stefanski (L) and Jessica A. Clark (R) were charged with neglect of a dependent after police said they strapped four kids to the hood of a car after leaving a Fort Wayne liquor store Monday, May 8, 2012.
Aaron S. Stefanski (L) and Jessica A. Clark (R) were charged with neglect of a dependent after police said they strapped four kids to the hood of a car after leaving a Fort Wayne liquor store Monday, May 8, 2012.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Two people are in police custody after they allegedly strapped four kids to the hood of a car after leaving a Fort Wayne liquor store Monday evening.

Police said around 5:30 p.m., someone called 911 to report that a man and a woman had strapped the kids to the hood and left the Belmont Beverage parking lot at 2116 Fairfield Ave.

A couple area residents saw the kids strapped to the car just before police arrived.

“I couldn’t believe it! They had this strap across their legs. They were squirming to get out. They didn’t know what to do. And I told the people in the car, ‘Don’t do that!’,” said Bonita Gorsuch.

“They were all drunk.  They were all all high, or whatever.  They’ve got babies on a car!  That’s not nice,” said Tom Nowak.

Shortly after Gorsuch confronted the couple, a U.S. Marshal saw the children near the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and Poplar Street and stopped the vehicle for police.

Police said the driver, Aaron S. Stefanski, 29, of Fort Wayne, had a blood alcohol content of .17% and was charged with three counts of operating while intoxicated and one count of neglect of a dependent. His passenger, Jessica A. Clark, 29, also of Fort Wayne, was charged with one count of neglect of a dependent.

Police said none of the children – ages four, five, six and seven – appeared to be hurt. Three of the children were Stefanski’s, one belonged to Clark.  Employees with the Department of Children Services were also called to the scene.

“I didn’t particularly think they would like to be an ornament the car. They were scared being strapped up there. It was very dangerous. It was really a sad thing because they could have been killed,” said Gorsuch.

At this time it is unclear if the children are now in protective custody or in someone else’s care.

This incident remains under investigation by the Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Department of Children Services.

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