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Man Arrested After His Two Toddlers Are Found Outside By Themselves

Police believe man fell asleep while watching his children.

Joseph Markey. Photo courtesy of the Naugatuck Police Department
Joseph Markey. Photo courtesy of the Naugatuck Police Department
A Naugatuck man was arrested after his two toddlers were found "wet and shivering" on North Main Street while wearing only their pajamas in freezing weather Tuesday morning, police said.

Joseph Markey, 26, of 214 North Main St., was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child, a felony, after police received a complaint from someone who saw them on North Main Street at 11:31 a.m., police said.

The children had red hands and faces from the cold; the temperature at the time was about 32 degrees Fahrenheit and it was snowing, according to the National Weather Service.

Emergency medical responders brought the children to a local hospital for evaluation; the children were OK, according to a police report. The children were released from the hospital to their mother. Police have reported the incident to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. 

Naugatuck Police Officer Michael Favale said it appears that Markey fell asleep while he was supposed to be watching his children. The door to the house was ajar and unlocked when police arrived, police said. Police are not sure whether the door was originally locked and the children unlocked it. 

Markey, who does not have an arrest history in Connecticut, was scheduled to be arraigned at Waterbury Superior Court on Tuesday. He was released on a $5,000 bond. 
pat December 11, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Patiently waiting for his friends/family to tell us to stop judging him and to not believe everything we read on the patch.......
chuck December 11, 2013 at 08:34 PM
A couple of things here....I'm sure glad we were told it was 32 degrees Fahrenheit. For a minute it thought it might have been 32 degrees Celsius. Whew! Secondly, what the hell is a father doing home sleeping at 11:30 in the morning? Does this guy work? Oh wait...I don't want to judge. Somebody please tell me it was his day off and his wife ran to the store (which wouldn't excuse him from drifting off into a coma while his kids ran half naked in the streets). And I must question his "appearing" to have been sleeping. Appearing?? What, the person couldn't decide whether or not he was awake when first encountering him?? Huh? Either he was up watching Jerry Springer or he was sleeping like a baby...which is it?? Now let me judge for a minute.....Sounds to me like this clown was negligent. Period. Case closed. Even if he was wide awake with his eyes propped open with toothpicks, the kids should not have been found flirting with hypothermia. Lock him up. Plenty of time to nap in the slammer. You're outta here, Markey!
chuck December 11, 2013 at 08:45 PM
For a minute "I" thought not "it" thought.
Chris Herrity December 11, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Just a few comments here - Joe is a loving, caring father who spends a lot of time with his two children. Whether teaching the kids music, or basics like ABC's and numbers, writing, coloring, and helping his daughter with her reading efforts, Joe and Justine are always there to take an interest. Meals are eaten together, often with friends who have become part of their family. Joe admits that he fell asleep due to a severe migraine headache. He will have to live with that for the rest of his life - it's not necessary for people to continue to vilify him for his actions. Right now, we should all focus on the fact that no one was injured, the children are fine, and Joe and Justine will take steps to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Time for the rest of the world to step back, stop judging and trashing a good man's name. Best of luck to you Joe as you work your way out of this mess.........we are here for you, Tine, and the kids.
pat December 12, 2013 at 12:31 AM
It never fails.
Violet Mine December 12, 2013 at 05:32 AM
Children do get out. My son when three was Houdini / we need locks high enough so they can't reach. Special locks for windows. We had to put a metal peg in the top of our slider. With everything we did he managed to escape once. Luckily my sister saw him walking by her door & knew he wasn't allowed out alone. I was very lucky, as was this family. Things happen, kids get in dangerous situations despite our best efforts. Learn & forgive yourself, I am sure this parent is harder on himself than anyone else could be...
SILENT WOLF December 12, 2013 at 08:22 AM
Not to anyone else , but to you Joe . This could have been a lot worse of a turn out . I hope it was a honest mishap .If it wasn't and you know you screwed up, own up to it and get it right . Sounds like you have no police record ,so at 26 that's good.Don,t let things like this ruin your life ,as you know it could have been a tragic event for both of your kids.
carol snyder December 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM
I don't know this family so to all of you who are passing judgment there's a saying "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and judge not lest ye be judged.KIDS ARE LITTLE HOUDINIS IN TRAINING and can get out of anywhere. If he does indeed suffer from migraines they can be very debilitating and I can understand he might have fallen asleep. I suffered from them most of my life and had to take care of 3 toddlers when I could hardly function. Show a little compassion it was an accident that ended well for the kids.
chuck December 14, 2013 at 06:12 AM
Carol...people throw around that verse like it was the absolute end to how we should act. It is used to shame good people, particularly Christians, for discerning poor behavior. Actually, the verse is speaking to not judging selfishly. There are many verses in the bible where God clearly commands us to judge. Also, what do you suppose happened to the man who committed adultery with the woman in your "cast the first stone reference?" Men were to suffer the same punishment for this sin. He was not brought before Jesus by the Pharisees....which was the real hypocrisy here. So I feel OK to comment and question here about the incident. None of us are without sin, but we can still question behavior without being held hostage by this verse.
carol snyder December 14, 2013 at 08:18 AM
Chuck I'm not talking about questioning. I'm talking about the people who are judging him without knowing the entire story.
SILENT WOLF December 14, 2013 at 09:46 AM
Joe ,perhaps if you could tell us from your own perspective as to what led up to this ,in your defense it would show some remorse . Now you don't have to , but don't you think it might get you more respect from others if you could actually clear it up coming from you .. Again this shouldn't be a kangaroo court..If you have the attitude that you don't need to explain anything to anyone , then I would start to wonder about your character which is in question here..
chuck December 14, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Nonsense.....you're doing the same thing, Carol, by saying it was an accident without knowing all "the facts" as you say. How do you know he wasn't smoking weed all morning?? You don't, yet you are making a judgement that it was an accident. You don't know the facts anymore than I do. I still feel OK questioning (judging) what happened. And how do we know it "ended well" for the kids. Maybe they're horrified by what happened. Maybe they found themselves outside and couldn't figure out how to get back home. Maybe it's something they won't ever forget. I'm sure they might read a news account of what happened 10-15 years from now and say, "What the hell was my father doing?" Like Wolf says...he hasn't done much to explain himself. It would help though I know he is under no obligation to come on to a local comment board to do so. I chose to try and hold him accountable by questioning (judging) his actions.
carol snyder December 14, 2013 at 02:38 PM
you're wrong Chuck, I'm not saying that It was an accident, I'm saying that all the facts aren't in to make a judgement call. And the kids are alive so that does make them ok. The police and courts if it comes to that will make the judgement call. You are entitled to your opinion as am I. I don't believe in finding someone guilty until all the facts are in. I'm done arguing the point with you.
chuck December 14, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Re-read your post! You said..."it was an accident!"

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