HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – An Evansville man was arrested after he allegedly attacked a home with an axe while his children were inside.
According to a probable cause affidavit, officers with the Evansville Police Department were sent to a home in the 1800 block of Vann Avenue in response to a found persons run.
The affidavit states that a caller had told dispatch that two toddlers had run to their home, telling them that “Mommy’s gone” and “Daddy has an axe”, with the older child telling the caller that their father had damaged their home. When officers arrived on the scene, the front door to the home was open and an initial search showed recent damage to the home. Police say the officers located the children at the caller’s residence, where they were taken into the custody of the Department of Child Services.
Authorities say the officers then worked to find the parents of the children. The father was identified as 25-year-old William Wathen, and was located in Warrick County in a friend’s vehicle. The affidavit states that the friend told officers that Wathen had asked him for a ride, with Wathen claiming that the mother of the children had been unfaithful to him. Wathen agreed to talk with the officers after being taken back to the home on Vann Avenue.
The affidavit states that Wathen told officers that he had spent some time in the morning hours cutting firewood, then went back to sleep. Wathen told officers that he had heard the children’s mother allegedly having sexual relations with a roommate of theirs, allegedly telling officers that the two were hiding under a bed’s mattress protector. Wathen agreed to let officers search the home, where they determined that the mattress protector couldn’t possibly conceal two people, and that the inside of the home was heavily damaged. When asked about who was supposed to be watching their kids, Wathen claimed that the mother was supposed to.
According to the affidavit, DCS officials asked Wathen to undergo a drug screening. Wathen admitted to having smoked marijuana the day before. Two instant tests were inconclusive, with another test sent off for lab testing. In the affidavit, an officer alleges that Wathen was known to have used methamphetamine in the past and believed that Wathen’s allegations about the children’s mother were due to drug-induced hallucinations.
The affidavit states that on contacting dispatch, the mother told officers that Wathen had asked her and their roommate to go to a hotel so he could have “some alone time.” The mother told police that Wathen had agreed to watch the kids, and that the home was clean when she left the previous day. Authorities say the mother also admitted that Wathen had consumed both marijuana and methamphetamine in the past, and that he had shown signs of paranoia when using meth.
Wathen was taken to the Vanderburgh County Jail and charged with two counts of Neglect of a Dependent. His bond was set at $5,000. The children will remain in DCS custody at this time.