Two people charged with endangering welfare of children

From staff reports

A transient man and an Oil City woman are facing child endangerment charges after two young children were found playing in a yard on Hone Avenue with no adult supervision.

Oil City police said in a criminal complaint they were called Friday afternoon to the Hone Avenue home to assist court supervision personnel who were looking for Ryan Aiken, 29, who is wanted.

When court supervision knocked on the door, two children, ages 23 months and 7 years answered, and they said their mother was sleeping as were the men who were supposed to be watching them, the complaint said.

When police arrived they found the children playing in the yard, so they knocked on the door multiple times but no one came to the door, the complaint said.

The children’s mother, Bailey Gifford, 32, later came out and was looking for her children, the complaint said.

As the officers were getting ready to take the children to the police station, Aiken tried to leave the house by the side door, the compliant said.

When officers asked Aiken for his information, he told them twice his name was “Bill Lightsey” and gave them a date of birth, the complaint said.

Aiken was then taken into custody and a used syringe was located in his pocket, the complaint said.

Gifford and Aiken have both been charged with a felony count of endangering the welfare of children and a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of children.

Aiken has also been charged with misdemeanor counts of false identification to law enforcement officer and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gifford was arraigned and placed in the Venango County jail after being unable to post bail.

Her preliminary hearing is scheduled today in Central Court.

Aiken was arraigned and placed in the Venango County jail with bail denied because he is a parole absconder.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 1 in Central Court.