Friday September 21, 2012

CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- A homeless man is being held in lieu of $2,000 bail after allegedly abandoning his son at a grocery store while he was asleep and intoxicated under a bridge connecting Vermont and New Hampshire on Wednesday.

Lonnie J. Place, 35, has been cited with endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and possession of an open alcoholic beverage container and is in custody at the Cheshire County House of Corrections.

According to a police report, Lt. Duane Chickering of the Chesterfield Police Department responded to Riverside Grocery at approximately 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday for a report of a young boy found at the edge of Route 9 with no adult near him.

When Chickering arrived at the scene, he found a boy roughly 1 year old and no parents in sight. The child was too young to speak but was capable of walking around, according to police.

The New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families was called and officials agreed to take custody of the child. Chesterfield Police Chief Lester Fairbanks stayed with the child while Chickering and Brattleboro Police Officer Carl Warner searched the area.

The two found Place sleeping and intoxicated under the bridge at approximately 4:10 p.m. and were able to wake him after a few attempts. Place said he was watching his daughter when he fell asleep. It was later confirmed that the wandering child was his son. According to police, Place also has a daughter, who at the time of Place’s arrest, was in Vermont with her mother.

Most recently, Place was arrested on Oct. 25, 2011, for drunkenly threatening people outside a motel on Putney Road. He was listed as being from Newfane at that time.

According to Windham Superior Court Criminal Division, Place has had multiple charges against him over the years.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.