Jesse Daniels faces four counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child after he interrupted the vandalism of his father-in-law's home. He reportedly locked the four vandals, ages 8 and 10, in a closet until police arrived.
Daniels allegedly saw someone using a hammer and hitting the walls of the renovated property. He went next door and discovered the kids tearing up the property. After taking away the hammer, Daniels locked the boys in a closet to wait until police arrived.
While the boys face criminal charges of Burglary in the Second Degree and Criminal Mischief in the Second degree, their parents have filed charges against Daniels. They claim that Daniels was aggressive with the children and threatened them with the hammer. It's unclear whether he will actually face jail time, since the investigation is ongoing and District Attorney Richard Healy said he does not have enough information yet.
"One person was just sitting on the floor and the other ones were swinging, just swinging crazy," Daniels told 13WHAM News. "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 the stuff down, what are you doing?' Now they're startled because now they're caught."
"I was fortunate that they were in that room that had a closet, so I put them in the closet. I said, 'Listen, you guys are staying here until the police come. Period,'" Daniels explained.
He believes the boys attacked the property in retaliation for being kicked off the property while riding dirt bikes. In addition to causing destruction, they also painted derogatory words on the walls.
"It just looked like a bomb went off, it really did. I can't believe the power that it took to send electrical outlets six inches into the wall. I'm very happy the children didn't get hurt because porcelain shatters. Any one time they could've been blinded, they could've been slashed in the throat with a piece of porcelain."
"I understand they were in the wrong, but there are other ways to handle it," one of the boys' parents, Paul Bowler, said. "He (Daniels) knew who the kids were; it's not like they were strangers. Send the kids home and call the cops. You don't sit there are torment them and tell them you're going to bash their skulls in with a hammer."
Daniels said he hopes the children learned a lesson and will no longer cause problems. He is due in court later this month.