Parents of boy who tried to sell teddy bear for food plead guilty

Franklin, Ohio, Police Officer Steve Dunham speaks, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, in Franklin, Ohio. Dunham who bought a meal for a 7-year-old boy who authorities say was trying to sell a stuffed animal to buy food says calls praising him and even proposing marriage surprised him. Franklin police say they have been inundated with emails and phone calls praising Officer Steve Dunham’s actions. (Ed Richter/The Journal-News via AP)
Franklin, Ohio, Police Officer Steve Dunham speaks, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, in Franklin, Ohio. Dunham who bought a meal for a 7-year-old boy who authorities say was trying to sell a stuffed animal to buy food says calls praising him and even proposing marriage surprised him. Franklin police say they have been inundated with emails and phone calls praising Officer Steve Dunham’s actions. (Ed Richter/The Journal-News via AP)

FRANKLIN, Ohio (WLWT) – The parents of a child who tried to sell his teddy bear for food have pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment.

WLWT reports that a judge granted Tammi Bethel, the boys mother, two hours of visitation per week and set sentencing for Sept. 27 in court Friday.

Michael Bethel, the boy’s father, also pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangering.

Franklin police said they received a call Aug. 7 that a young boy was wandering in downtown Franklin alone.

When an officer arrived, police said, the 7-year-old was peddling his toy in front of a drugstore to get money for food.

Officer Steve Dunham took the child to a nearby Subway to get something to eat, then took him back to the Franklin Police Department.

Bethel’s attorney told WLWT that the 7-year-old was fed before officers found him on the street.

“He has seen the kid, the children doing it prior to get candy, so he might have picked up on a few of previous interactions,” David Chicarelli, Bethel’s attorney said. “As I understand, she’s related to me that a few of her older children have stood and opened up the door for people to try to get some change to buy candy.”

 

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