An upstate New York district attorney said Thursday that he won’t prosecute a man who held four boys in a closet after he caught them vandalizing his family’s property.
Jesse Daniels, 53, of Clyde, N.Y., a village halfway between Rochester and Syracuse, was charged with four counts of child endangerment after he caught the youths, 8 and 10 years old, using hammers to bash up his father-in-law’s house on June 8.
The vandals had busted walls and broken windows and spray-painted derogatory words about women.
Hearing the commotion from next door, Mr. Daniels told his wife to call 911 and he entered the house, where he caught the boys red-handed.
Mr. Daniels managed to grab a hammer from one of them before corralling them in a closet.
The boys were charged with burglary and criminal mischief, and their cases are being handled by the Wayne County Family Court. But police also charged Mr. Daniels with four counts of child endangerment after the boys’ parents complained.
Paul Bowler, father of two of the boys, complained on a local radio station that Mr. Daniels should have handled the incident differently by sending the boys home and then calling the police.
“There are other way to handle it,” Mr. Bowler said.
Wayne County District Attorney Richard Healy exercised prosecutorial discretion on Thursday and sent a letter to Justice Lester Carr of the Galen Town Court saying “in the interest of justice” he would not be prosecuting Mr. Daniels.
Mr. Daniels is scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday, when the charges are expected to be officially dismissed.
• Deborah Simmons can be reached at email@example.com.