Questions Remain Regarding Arrest of San Jacinto Parents in Child Abuse Case
SAN JACINTO- The details regarding a couple arrested on Tuesday, who were allegedly abusing their children, remain cloudy following their release.
After a report of abuse from a school official, deputies from the San Jacinto Riverside Sheriff’s Station, along with Riverside County Child Protective Services, arrived at the 1600 block of Santa Fe Avenue in San Jacinto on September 22 at 7:54 A.M. Deputies who investigated the alleged crime reportedly discovered that the two boys, 7 and 8 years old, were deliberately confined to a single room under what they described as deplorable conditions.
The boys were believed to have attended school, but each night were imprisoned in a room in their family’s home on the 1600 block of Santa Fe Avenue, Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Vasquez said.
The children’s parents, Emily April Tardy, age 29, and Steven Edward Crane, age 38, were arrested for felony child abuse, and bail was set at $35,000.00 each. Riverside County Child Protective Services took custody of both siblings, ultimately turning them over to their paternal grandparents.
Neighbors, however, were surprised at the allegations and stated that they often saw the boys playing outside of their room or on their way to their grandmother’s house, according to The Press Enterprise.
Teresa Tardy, the boys’ grandmother, told Eyewitness News that the charges didn’t come close to the truth of the actual situation. She said the older sibling was prone to mischief, including starting fires in the middle of the night, which was why they were locked in. She also stated that the children had a habit of urinating in their room because they thought it was funny.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped the child abuse charges on Thursday to misdemeanor child endangerment, based on what they say was information in the police report. The couple pleaded not guilty to the lesser charges and have been released, but are currently only allowed supervised visits with their children.