Poconos Coal

Schuylkill mom says welfare officials okay with 'cage'

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. - A Schuylkill County father is behind bars for leaving his kids home alone and leaving one of them in a cage.

Investigators say it's unknown if more charges could follow.

"We are going to look into every angle that there is and if appropriate, there will be more charges filed," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper David Beohm.

State police say Cecil Kutz, 37, is charged with leaving his three children, ranging from two-years-old to one-day-old, home alone for 40 minutes.

"It's rare that you would find a child in a cage and obviously it's sad," said Sgt. Fred Krute, of Pennsylvania State Police Troop L.

But the children's mother, Tiffany George, defended it.

"It's a play pen, it's a crib. It's not a cage," said George.

Now George, who was in the hospital for childbirth complications during the incident, could also face charges for using the enclosure.

"It started here when he was just born," said George.

She said Children Youth and Families knew about the enclosure for some time and advised the family on its construction.

"Children and Youth  didn't like how he was starting to climb up the lattice, so we had to modify it and take care of it again, "said George. "The whole purpose of it was so that they couldn't get out and hurt himself."

We reached out to Schuylkill County Children and Youth Services. Executive Director Lisa Stevens would not confirm the existence of a case involving the family.

But Stevens said if case workers see something in a home that poses a safety threat or a risk, the case worker must take action to make things safe.

George said she is worried about her family. She said there is no excuse for leaving her kids unattended, but thinks her boyfriend might have panicked because she was in the hospital.

Police said Kutz told them that he was going to visit her when questioned about why he left the children home alone.

The two boys are now in protective custody, the baby girl is in the hospital and Kutz is in jail.

"We are a loving family, my kids' dad has never harmed our children," said George.

State police said they haven't talked to George about the enclosure, but plan to do so soon.

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