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YOUNGSTOWN A filthy home, a fourth arrest: Mom faces endangering charges



Published: Wed, July 17, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Five of the woman's six children were at the house when police arrived.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Cockroaches and dead flies in a sink smeared with fecal matter prompted police to describe Cylanna H. Pond's kitchen as "incredibly disgusting."

Patrolmen Jason Simon and Melvin Johnson went to 2816 Rush Blvd. to check out an assault report. A 16-year-old baby sitter called police Monday to report that her ex-boyfriend had beaten her up.

While waiting for an ambulance for the teenager, the officers noted the deplorable condition and smell of the South Side house. They found five of Pond's six children -- who are ages 4, 6, 8, 11, 14 and 15 -- at home

Simon and Johnson summoned Pond from work at a doctor's office.

When the 33-year-old mother arrived home, she wanted medical attention at St. Elizabeth Health Center. Paramedics and hospital staff believe she forced herself to vomit as a way to avoid being put in jail, police said.

Once released, she was booked into the county jail Monday night, and arraigned Tuesday in municipal court on six counts of child endangering. She remained in the Mahoning County today in lieu of $9,000 bond.

Pond told the arresting officers that she has been at the Rush Boulevard house for about one year and "was about to move," reports show. The 87-year-old, six-room house is owned by Neil R. Kennedy of Market Street, county records show.

Living conditions

Here's what Simon and Johnson said they found:

UCeilings and walls with gaping holes.

UFeces smashed into the living room floor, where the only furniture is a couch without cushions.

UFlies and other insects "heavy on the walls and in the air."

UFeces on the kitchen floor, as well as cockroach pellets, which indicates breeding. Near the sink was "a bowl of white stuff" with maggots all over it.

UExcrement on the steps leading upstairs to the second-floor bedrooms.

UThe upstairs bathroom smelled of mold and mildew, and there was stagnant water in the clogged sink. The toilet water was running continuously, and the bathtub was filthy.

UEach of the four bedrooms had feces on the floor, dirty clothes and garbage strewn everywhere. Only one bedroom had a mattress on the floor, and it, too, was covered with feces.

USeveral dogs were found without food or water.

UThe front door was broken and could not be opened.

UThe side porch is above ground level but has no steps. On the porch, in front of the door, was a torn-up couch and a large amount of junk -- paper, scrap metal, two refrigerators and more.

Deemed uninhabitable

City housing inspectors "red-tagged" the house, signifying that it is uninhabitable. Investigators from Mahoning County Children Services made arrangements for the children to stay with Pond's relatives.

A Mahoning County dog warden removed the dogs, a female shepherd and two puppies, which are being kept at the pound.

Pond has been out on $500 bond since May 31, charged with passing bad checks. She is due back in municipal court Tuesday for that charge.

Pond is the fourth mother in the past three weeks to be charged with child endangering in Youngstown. As with Pond, police said they discovered filthy living conditions at the other mothers' homes.

The others, Tonya Rushton, 30, of West Indianola; Darlene L. Shina, 23, of Howard Avenue; and Amanda Beck, 20, of Parnell Street, have pleaded innocent and will be back in municipal court over the next few weeks. Each of the houses they lived in was red-tagged by housing inspectors.

meade@vindy.com




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