Police: Neglect Led Teen to Extract Teeth
Father arrested after refusing dental care for son.
An Easton teenager spent months asking his father to take him to a dentist to have a toothache treated.
When the father refused, the boy, 14, got a pliers and pulled the teeth himself, according to city police.
Now that father, Francisco Torres, 41, of 914 Centre St. on the city's South Side, is charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. Torres was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Daniel Corpora.
Police say they were alerted to the situation in January by Northampton County Children Youth and Families division. According to police, Torres told his son that he had insurance and transportation issues, which prevented him from taking the boy to see a dentist.
But police said Torres later showed investigators a valid insurance card. Children and Youth had provided travel vouchers to the family. The boy had to undergo emergency surgery to remove fragments of the teeth.
Kevin Dolan, administrator for the Children and Youth office, couldn't comment directly on the case, but said that cases of neglect are rare, accounting for only 5 percent of what the department deals with.
In most cases, schools can pick up on a situation where a child's dental health has been neglected, Dolan said.
Torres was free on bail Wednesday, and could not be reached for comment.