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Jesse DanielsClyde, NY – A man who caught four children vandalizing a home and held them in a closet until police arrived, has been charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

It happened Saturday night when Jesse Daniels had his wife call 911 after he heard loud noises coming from the home next door that he was renovating for his father-in-law. When he went inside the home, he busted four kids, ages eight and ten, doing some major damage to the property.  He knew the kids and their parents, and his wife had a minor altercation with them earlier that day when she asked the kids, who were on ATV’s, to get off their property.

Daniels said he took a hammer from one of the kids and then herded them all into a closet until police got there. “So I grab the one hammer and the other three (boys) got hammers, now I don’t know what to do here, I said you guys put that stuff down, what are you doing?  Now they’re startled because now they’re caught,” Daniels said.  “I was fortunate that they were in that room that had a closet, so I put them in the closet.”

Police arrived and were present when the children were let out of the closet. They were taken back to their parents and charged with 2nd-degree burglary and 2nd-degree criminal mischief. But to Daniels’ surprise, he was also charged with a crime the following Monday.  At the insistence of the childrens’ parents, Daniels was charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The parents say they do not excuse what their children did, but they also cannot excuse what Daniels did to their children.

They claim that after Daniels caught them destroying his property, that he was too mean to the little shits. They say their children were shoved into the closet, that one was grabbed around the neck, and that Daniels threatened them with the hammer.

“I understand they were in the wrong but there are other ways to handle it.  He (Daniels) knew who the kids were it’s not like they were strangers and send the kids home and call the cops then,” said Paul Bowler. “You don’t sit there and torment them and tell them you’re going to bash their skulls in with a hammer.”

Bowler said his two boys are traumatized after getting caught breaking into a man’s home and doing an estimated $40,00 worth of damage. “Oh they’re traumatized, they haven’t been to school they don’t sleep until the sun comes up,” said Bowler, who wants stiffer charges filed against Daniels. “I don’t know why he didn’t get more charges than just endangering the welfare of a child because if you’re asking me that’s imprisonment, that’s unlawfully dealing with a child.”

Daniels said he’s spent years working on the home and the kids have undone most of it. They broke 17 windows, the basement was barricaded with debris, all the heat was turned on but electrical fixtures were smashed so he could not adjust it, holes were put in the dry wall, paint spilled and splattered throughout the home, chunks of porcelain chipped off of a bathroom tub, a bathroom sink and toilet smashed to pieces, and derogatory words were spray painted on the walls.

Had my old man found out I had any part of what these kids did, he would have beat me in front of Daniels while the police watched, then made me help repair every single bit of damage I caused.

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