STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Last Thursday, police conducted a welfare checkup at an apartment in Struthers after the kids who live there did not show up for school. We obtained the dramatic body camera video from the incident.
When officers first arrived in the 2300 block of East Midlothian Boulevard, they knew kids were inside but they couldn’t get in. With the front door deadbolted, officers went around back but it was blocked by a washing machine. At that point, the officers made a request for Children Services.
Voice of Struthers officer: “We have three young males locked in a bedroom. No mother. Nobody’s home.”
Ultimately, they needed a battering ram to get in.
Once inside, they had to unlock the bedroom door.
Voice of officer: “Here we go. Hi guys, who got you locked in here? [Kids scream.] Yeah, it’s us again.”
Using their cameras, officers record garbage and clothing strewn all over the place, empty food boxes and very little in both the freezer and refrigerator.
The boys, all under the age of seven, were clothed only in their underwear with the youngest wearing only a diaper. Police said they were also hungry.
Voice of officer: “Your mom didn’t feed you before she left? No? When’s the last time you ate?”
Officers realized their mother is 24-year-old Priscilla Destouet, who had been convicted last year of child endangering.
Voice of officer: “Turn around.”
Ironically, she was performing community service at City Hall when police arrived at her apartment. Having dealt with Destouet before, police say the situation is frustrating.
“It’s difficult for the officers because we have very limited resources, as do most of the departments,” said Struthers Police Chief Tim Roddy.
For now, Destouet is jailed without bond and due back in court next month. Her boys are in the care of Children Services.