BURGETTSTOWN, Pa. - A Washington County father is facing child endangerment charges after police said he passed out while watching his three young children.
According to the criminal complaint, William Ferrelli took prescription pills and smoked marijuana before his 12-year-old son found him unconscious inside their Burgettstown home.
Police said a 911 call came in from the South Pittsburgh Street home Thursday around 10:30 p.m. from a boy crying for help.
Authorities said the boy told emergency dispatchers that when he lifted his father’s eyelids and didn’t get a response, he knew something was wrong.
Neighbor Erma Sekelik told Channel 11’s Cara Sapida that she heard Ferrelli’s three kids screaming for help.
“Oh my, those poor children -- the terror and the frightening tone in the voice -- that’s what made me get up,” Sekelik said.
Sekelik said she tried repeatedly to wake up Ferrelli, who was unconscious on the kitchen floor, before paramedics arrived.
“The little girl took me in the house and I hollered for him. He was unresponsive and then after the third holler, he jumped up like there was nothing wrong,” Sekelik said.
According to Sekelik, Ferrelli said he was only playing a game.
Police said when officers arrived and asked Ferrelli if he had any medical conditions or was prescribed narcotics that would cause him to pass out, he allegedly said, “I don’t do heroin. Check my arms for track marks if you want.”
Investigators said he admitted to taking two Xanax pills and smoking marijuana.