WEST PITTSTON — A man was arraigned Wednesday on charges he struck his girlfriend’s two children with a belt.
Ronald Umstead, 42, of Pacific Avenue, West Pittston, was charged with four counts of simple assault and two counts each of endangering the welfare of children and harassment. He was released without bail by District Judge Michael Dotzel in Wilkes-Barre Township.
Umstead was arrested at about 9:25 p.m. Tuesday when he returned to the Pacific Avenue residence he shares with his girlfriend Jennifer Richards, police said.
Police earlier had notified other police agencies to be on the lookout for Umstead and his Pontiac Grand Prix.
According to the criminal complaint:
Richards told police she was in the kitchen when she heard her 6-year-old daughter yelling about being hit in the knee and her 5-year-old son crying. She noticed a red mark on her daughter’s knee and a welt on her son’s arm.
When Richards questioned Umstead about the marks on her children, he allegedly stated he hit them on their buttocks.
Richards pushed Umstead out of the way to call 911 and he allegedly ripped the phone cord from the wall, the complaint says.
Umstead allegedly knocked Richards to the floor and left in his vehicle.
Police advised Richards on how to obtain a protection from abuse for herself and her two children. She told police she had been dating Umstead for two years and never gave him permission to discipline her children, according to the complaint.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Nov. 27 before District Judge Joseph Carmody in West Pittston.