WILKES-BARRE — A toddler strapped in a stroller with a wet diaper was left unattended on a home’s porch while the father slept inside, police say.
Officers said they knocked on the window of 174 S. Meade St. to wake Michael A. Barberio, 37, when he was spotted slumped over a couch at about 8:20 p.m. Monday.
Police responded to the house after a neighbor called 911 to report a toddler was left unattended for nearly 30 minutes on the porch.
Barberio told officers he had taken the sedative Xanax, which is prescribed to him, just a few hours before.
According to a criminal complaint:
A woman told police she was walking to a friend’s house when she saw something move on the porch of 174 South Meade. When they got closer, they noticed a toddler in a stroller.
The woman, her friend and the friend’s daughter waited to make sure the toddler was safe and to see if anyone was going to emerge from the house. When the toddler began to cry, the woman walked onto the porch and knocked on the door, getting no response.
The woman claimed she removed the toddler from the stroller and noticed it had a wet diaper that she changed.
An officer arrived and looked into the house through a window, seeing a man slumped over a couch.
When the officer knocked on the window, the man — identified as Barberio — was slow to react, stumbled as he picked up pillows and walked to the door.
Barberio, who was slurring his speech, claimed his 11-year-old daughter and 14-month-old son were sleeping in a bedroom.
He also claimed he is prescribed several prescription medications and took three Xanax tablets just after 6 p.m.
After Barberio was detained, his girlfriend arrived home, telling police he was the primary caretaker since she was at work.
Barberio was arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Joseph Carmody in Luzerne County Central Court on charges of endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment. He was released on $7,500 unsecured bail.