Hazards, sewage fill home

first_imgCANYON COUNTRY – Parents who authorities said had seeping sewage, live wires and other hazards in their Canyon Country home were charged Monday with endangering four of their children. Gerald Young, 48, and his wife Julie, 42, are each scheduled to be arraigned today on four misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a child – one count for each of their minor sons, ranging in age from 2 to 16. Authorities said they entered the home during a drug raid. “The sewer had backed up, the toilet had backed up, and they left the sewer open where it overflowed,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Phil Morris. “It’s one of the worst houses I’ve ever been in in 26 years as a narcotics detective, and I’ve been in Compton and East L.A.” The youngsters were taken into protective custody and the home was declared uninhabitable after Thursday’s raid, said Morris, who led the raid. The Youngs were being held on $50,000 bail. Caught in the middle was the couple’s 19-year-old son, ordered to leave the house. He had plans to stay with a friend, Morris said. Loose, sparking wires dangled from an uncovered fuse box in the hallway, dark green mold grew in places, about 100 pizza boxes and hordes of beer cans littered the home, and fresh food was in short supply, Morris said. “There was not one piece of edible food (in the refrigerator). There were milk cartons with the cap not closed, rotten and empty,” Morris said. “I did find one lower cabinet with canned goods and potatoes.” Social workers from the county’s Department of Children and Family Services ushered away the couple’s children 2, 9, 12 and 16 years old. Morris said all were coughing, as was the mother, but seemed to be “in decent shape.” Social workers would not talk about the case, but department spokeswoman Louise Grasmehr said when youngsters are placed outside the home, every effort is made to place siblings together with a relative. Morris said the 16-year-old told him he wants to live on his own and asked how he could become emancipated. “He felt his parents were overloaded. He felt he was a burden to them,” Morris said. City code-enforcement officials said there were 10 to 15 code violations. Among them were an inoperable car in the driveway, household debris in the front area, cardboard covering a broken window, debris covering half the backyard and exposed wiring. A pair of pit bulls roamed the backyard, which also held a plastic pool about 16 feet in diameter not yet been filled with water. Community preservation officer Curtis Williams said the property owner will be notified of the violations and given about two weeks to remedy them. The couple told authorities they’ve been renting the home for seven years. The owner declined to comment. Meanwhile, on Monday morning a 28-year-old man who identified himself only as a family friend was helping to rehabilitate the home. He said he and about 10 others had discarded trash, refurbished the bathroom and some of the other plumbing, vacuumed and sprayed bleach to rid the floors of mold. One neighbor had sympathy for the family. “They used to be doing really good. Everybody slips up at some point,” he said, asking not to be identified. “This is just one of their bad moments in time.” Maria Romero, a mother of three who lives a few doors from the Youngs, said kids from the two families routinely played together. “She’s a real good mom. She takes care of her kids,” Romero said of Julie Young. [email protected] (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Raw sewage covered the bathroom floor and migrated to the hallway carpeting, Morris said. The stench permeated the home in the 19300 block of Cedarcreek Street, across from Cedarcreek Elementary School, he said. He said the Youngs told him the backup had occurred two to three weeks earlier. Six of the couple’s seven children lived at the home. Deputies who raided the home were prompted by tips of drug activity and found a methamphetamine pipe and less than an ounce of marijuana, Morris said. “The father claimed he’s addicted to meth but not selling. He’d have people come and party with him,” Morris said. He said the man is an electrician and plumber. Morris said the meth pipe apparently belonged to the couple’s 22-year-old son, who was arrested on suspicion of violating probation. That son’s 19-year-old girlfriend, also on the premises, was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of methamphetamine and was being held on $500 bail. last_img