Clyde man charged after holding young vandals in closet will not be prosecuted

Jesse Daniels (center)

Wayne County District Attorney says he won't prosecute a Clyde man who corralled four young boys in the closet of a home he found them vandalizing.

DA Richard Healy tells The Associated Press Thursday that after reviewing Jesse Daniels' case, he's recommending to a town justice that the four counts of endangering the welfare of a child be dismissed.

Police charged the 53-year-old man this month after the parents of the boys, ages 8 and 10, complained that he handled them roughly after finding them damaging his father-in-law's home in Clyde.

Daniels says he took hammers away from the boys and put them in a closet until police arrived. He says the damage topped $40,000.

Daniels told CNY Central that when he realized it was four neighborhood children swinging sledge hammers at his father-in-law's home, he grabbed one of the hammers from one of the children.

"They put them down and the closet was there, and I said get in that closet. They tried smashing their way out 3 or 4 times. I never once hurt those children, never would I ever do that. I said, sit down till the police come," said Daniels.

In an impromptu news conference, Officer LaValley explained the basis for the charges against Daniels. "They (the children) all stated that they felt threatened based on Jesse allegedly coming in with a hammer, and allegedly physically threw all four of them in the closet. The parents were very upset about the issue. They understand the children did wrong. They felt the fact that what Jesse did was overboard," said LaValley.

"Obviously my adrenaline was pumped, I did not know what I was walking into," Daniels told CNY Central.

Healy says he expects the justice to dismiss the charges Wednesday.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)

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