Lehigh Valley

Man allegedly drops kids at McDonald's, tells them to walk home

He told police he had 'somewhere to be'

EASTON, Pa. - Authorities allege that an Upper Nazareth Township man dropped three children unattended at an Easton fast food restaurant because he had “somewhere to be.”

Easton police charged Craig M. Alercia, of Hemlock Lane, with three misdemeanor counts of child endangerment after allegedly leaving them at a McDonald’s on Friday night. District Judge Jacqueline Taschner arraigned the 55-year-old later that night, setting bail at $10,000 with a 10 percent cash option if approved by Northampton County pre-trial services.

A McDonald’s employee called police to the restaurant at 300 Larry Holmes Drive about 8 p.m. Friday for three unattended children. She told police that the children had been alone for more than an hour and that no one had come to claim them, according to court records.

Police spoke with the 10-year-old girl, 10-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, who reported that Alercia had dropped them off at the McDonald’s, according to records. They told police that Alercia sat outside for about 20 minutes before leaving for the Amazon facility in Palmer Township.

After being contacted by a family friend, Alercia returned to the McDonald’s to speak with police. He allegedly told the officer that the children had been there about two-and-a-half hours because he had “somewhere to be.”

He also allegedly told police that he instructed the children to walk home. Police noted in the criminal complaint that it was below 20 degrees that night and neither girl was wearing a jacket.

It’s not clear from court records Alercia’s relationship to the children or where they lived.

Alercia failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 12.


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