A Lakewood man accused of leaving his 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter without food in a squalid apartment while he went to work pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Quintin Dublin, 25, is charged with two counts of second-degree abandonment of a dependent person, second-degree criminal mistreatment and reckless endangerment.
Pierce County Commissioner Meagan Foley set his bail at $35,000, and he is prohibited from having contact with the children.
According to charging papers:
Police were dispatched to a Lakewood apartment Wednesday after the two children were found alone there. The two were discovered by a maintenance worker who checked the apartment because water was flowing from it into the unit below.
The children answered the door for officers, who said the 5-year-old was wearing a diaper and the toddler was unclothed. Garbage, dirty clothing, rotten food and feces littered the apartment, and piles of soiled diapers lined the walls. Lots of water was coming from the bathroom.
The girl said her father was at work, and that her mother lived a “long ways away.”
The children told officers about noon that they had not eaten that day. The toddler said he and his sister had cereal with their dad the night before, and then he went to work. All food was out of reach of the children, and when asked if they knew how to call their father, both children looked confused, officers said.
Police didn’t find a phone in the apartment.
Officers took the children to the police station and fed them, and found both had lice.
Dublin told investigators he’d left the children with a babysitter when he went to work at 5:30 a.m., but later admitted he left the children alone on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6. He said he’d taken the children out of day care Nov. 1, and that he’d had a sitter, but she couldn’t handle the toddler.
Dublin told officers he had planned to come home at 5 p.m. after work.
“The defendant showed no concern for the welfare of his children and his concern was how much prison time he could get for his actions,” prosecutors wrote.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268