Two children were taken into emergency protective care Wednesday after a witness reported a young girl walking alone across East Fifth Street.
A witness said a car was parked in the area and that a child, about 2 years old, got out of the vehicle and crossed Fifth Street by herself. The witness took the child back to the car and then called police after suspecting the individuals inside the car may be under the influence.
The vehicle then left the area, according to Washington police who had received the car’s description.
The car was stopped on East Fifth Street near Sonic restaurant. Four adults and two children under the age of 4 were in the vehicle. During the investigation, officers noted there were no child safety devices in the vehicle.
Three adults were taken into custody on numerous charges, including child endangerment and unlawful possession of an illegal substance. Through the investigation, it was discovered Gary R. Welch, 40, St. Clair was in the car with a woman who had an order of protection against him.
Detective Betsey Schulze said that the same woman showed signs of an assault from earlier in the day and the night before. Welch was arrested at the scene and was charged in the Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with misdemeanor violation of a protective order.
The two other adults were booked and released and the two children were taken into emergency custody and put into foster care.
Welch was released on a $7,500 cash-only bond.