Police: Man watching NASCAR arrested after toddlers wander off

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A Muncie man was arrested Sunday after police said two toddlers left in his care wandered off while he was busy watching the NASCAR race.

Wendell Raines, 72, was preliminarily charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent.

Officers with the Muncie Police Department responded to the area around South Burlington Drive and South Biltmore Avenue at approximately 5:40 p.m. after receiving a report that two young children were walking in the middle of the street.

Police said the children, ages 2 and 3, could not even tell officers their names.  The children were taken to the police department until their grandmother reported them missing, approximately an hour and a half after they were found.

The children’s grandmother, Raines’ ex-wife and primary guardian for the children, told authorities she dropped the children off at Raines’ home while she went shopping.  Police said when she returned to the house, Raines told her the children were missing.  When asked why he didn’t call police, Raines allegedly replied the children “were not his responsibility.”

Raines was transported to the Delaware County Jail, but he was released Monday after posting a $5,000 bond.


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