BLANCHESTER — A Blanchester woman faces several charges related to alleged abuse against her two young grandchildren.
On Saturday morning police were called on a report of child abuse, according to a news release from Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt.
Ptl. Sarah Luken responded and spoke with numerous witnesses in the neighborhood, “who reported a pattern of neglect and abuse of two children residing at 703 E. Center St. that has been going on for at least the past year,” said Reinbolt.
He said Ptl. Luken learned that the children, ages 3 and 7, reside there with their grandmother, Linda Hoggatt, 60.
“Witnesses described repeatedly seeing the children playing in or near the street unsupervised, including instances of the children nearly being struck by cars, as well as numerous occasions of Hoggatt yelling profanity at them,” stated Reinbolt. “The witnesses further stated that on Friday night, Aug. 30, they observed Mrs. Hoggatt assaulting the 3-year-old in the yard of the home by repeatedly striking him with her fist and hand and yanking him by the arm, then dragging him into the house.
“One man intervened by telling Hoggatt to stop, but she did not heed his request. No one called the police that night,” Reinbolt said. “The assault was apparently sparked, to some extent, by the fact that one of the children drowned several kittens in the bathtub of the residence. Ptl. Luken found the dead kittens in the yard of the home.
“By Saturday morning one of the witnesses decided it was their duty to notify the police and did so. We are grateful for that person’s courage,” said Reinbolt.
After speaking with witnesses, Ptl. Luken went to 703 E. Center St. and placed Linda Hoggatt under arrest for domestic violence for striking the 3-year-old child repeatedly, said Reinbolt.
“Ptl. Luken found the inside of the home to emit an extremely offensive odor and observed numerous cats and dogs inside the house, as well as dog feces and trash strewn about the floor,” he added. “Hoggatt was therefore charged with two counts of endangering children for not maintaining a safe and sanitary home for the children, as well as complicity to animal cruelty in the death of the kittens.
“Ptl. Luken determined the children were without proper care and removed them from their home. The children were then turned over to workers from Clinton County Children Services. It appears that agency was involved with the children prior to this report,” said Reinbolt.