The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

March 13, 2014

Mother of boy found alone charged

HERMITAGE — A 20-year-old Hermitage woman was arrested at home Wednesday on charges related to the discovery Friday that her 2-year-old son was wandering around her apartment complex in 40-degree weather wearing only a T-shirt and underwear.

Hermitage police also called into doubt Shaquale I. Tensley’s story about how the boy suffered a serious burn and other injuries on his arms.

Tensley, 1396 Bolde Drive, faces charges of endangering the welfare of the child and reckless endangerment.

The boy was discovered by Shenango Park Apartments staff at 1:09 p.m. The employees also observed that the boy had a burn injury from his wrist to his elbow, police said.

The boy was taken to a local hospital, and Mercer County Children and Youth Services was contacted, police said.

Using video security footage, police said they learned that Tensley had walked away from her apartment for 12 minutes.

Tensley admitted leaving the child unattended in an unlocked apartment, police said.

When asked about the burn, Tensley told police the boy had pulled a bowl of soup from a table onto himself about a week earlier, police said.

She said she didn’t seek medical treatment because she feared child abuse would be suspected and the boy would be taken from her, she said.

The nurse at the hospital told police the burn should have received immediate attention, police said.

The boy also had a triangular scar on an arm and a blister on a finger, police said. Tensley said the boy suffered both injuries when he plugged in a clothes iron and touched it, police said.

The triangular scar was suffered when he was 1 year old, she told police.

The hospital nurse reported that the injuries were inconsistent with Tensley’s story, police said.

When asked how he received the injuries, the boy said, “Mommy burned me,” police said.

Tensley was arraigned by District Justice Ronald E. Antos, Farrell, who committed her to jail for failing to post bond. He set a preliminary hearing for 10:45 a.m. March 20.

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