Thank goodness someone chose to become involved Saturday when Philip Smeal decided to leave his 8-month-child home alone so he could get sloshed at a local bar.
A concerned person called Ada police around 1 a.m. Saturday, reporting Smeal left his infant daughter alone at the residence. When officers arrived, they found the door ajar and went inside, where they found the 8-month-old child asleep in the crib with no one else at the home.
Officers later found Smeal standing in front of Jon and Toniís Lounge in downtown Ada. He admitted to leaving the baby at home and to drinking 10 beers and five shots of alcohol that evening.
We hate to think of what could have happened had police not received the call from a concerned citizen. The thought of a drunken person coming home to a crying baby is a scary one. Statistics point out that children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families, according to Childhelp, a crisis hotline founded in 1959 to prevent child abuse.
Then again, what would have happened if a drunken Smeal never made it home at all?
Smeal will appear in court Monday at Hardin County Municipal Court on child endangerment charges. If there were such thing as Felony Stupidity, he no doubt would have had the book thrown at him.
The mother is currently taking care of the child. Hardin County Children Services also has been notified of the incident.
Whoever made the call to Ada police, bless you.