JPD: Lottery tickets more important to man than children's welfare

JPD: Lottery tickets more important to man than children's welfare

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Police say a Jonesboro man was more interested in scratching off lottery tickets than he was in the welfare of two babies in his care.

Corporal Susan Gray arrested Justin Jay Crouch, 34, Tuesday morning on two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor-second degree.

According to the initial incident report, a teacher called police around 10 a.m. regarding a small female "standing by the road with no clothing on" in the area of Cobb and Cherry.

When Gray arrived at the home in the 400-block of Cherry she found Crouch and two small children—a one-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl—in the floor.

Crouch was putting a diaper on one of the children and "did not seem concerned whatsoever at our presence," Gray stated.

The children, she said, were "crying, naked and filthy."

The girl was "visibly shaking from being cold," Gray stated. "Crouch did not seem to be concerned and took his time as he put a diaper" on the boy.

Gray stated after diapering the boy, Crouch removed lottery tickets from his pocket and began scratching them off.

"Crouch continued to do this the remainder of the time we were out at the house…even after he acknowledged that his son had 'poop' on his face," Gray said. "Crouch still sat scratching them off and made no attempt to clean the children or clothe them properly.

Gray noted the "entire inside of the home was covered with trash and was filthy…There were dirty diapers in piles all over the residence."

In the living room, the trash included "used tampons and prescription medication in the floor where the children could have easily accessed them," Gray stated.

In the bedroom, she reported finding a bed with no sheets that "was not fit to be slept in."

Gray notified the Arkansas Department of Human Services. After seeing the children and the home, the DHS agent, according to the report, decided to remove the children from the home.

"Due to circumstances and blatant disregard for the care and safety of the children," Gray took Crouch to the Craighead County Detention Center and left him to await a probable cause hearing in lieu of a $1,040 bond.

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