WINSLOW — A West Baker Street man was arrested and taken to jail late Saturday after he reportedly left three children, ages 2, 3, and 8, home alone for 20 to 30 minutes, prompting neighbors to call police.

Ryann James Russell, 26, was charged with three counts of child abandonment and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Winslow police Detective Brad Hubert.

Hubert said Sunday that police were called to 3 West Baker St., Apt. 1, around 9:30 p.m. Saturday and met with neighbors, who said that Russell had left the children alone and that he returned to the apartment just before police arrived.

“Officers got consent to go into the house and found deplorable conditions inside of the house,” Hubert said. “It was not well-kept and the children were not well-maintained.”

Hubert said the children’s mother was in Industry visiting her mother since Wednesdsay and was called to come to the Winslow apartment, which she did. A state Department of Health and Human Services official also was called and came to the scene Saturday night, he said.

At the apartment Sunday afternoon, the children’s mother, Melissa Blodgett, 24, and an upstairs neighbor, said they had spent the day scrubbing the apartment and clearing it of debris.

Blodgett, who had been visiting her mother with her 2-month-old baby boy, said she and Russell are not married and she is not going to allow him to return to the apartment if and when he gets out of jail. Russell is the biological father of three of the four children.

“He left our 8-year-old who has Aspergers in charge of our 3- and 2-year-old instead of going up and asking our very nice neighbors to come down and watch them,” Blodgett said. “This place was a pig sty when I got here at one o’clock this morning. It was horrible — two huge trash bags full of trash and a big trash can full of trash. I hadn’t been here since Wednesday, and there was no food in the fridge, no dishes to eat off. It was disgusting. The cop told me my 2-year-old daughter was trying to drink milk from a cup that had curdled milk in it. He washed it and gave her some water.”

Blodgett said she and Russell until Saturday had shared custody of Xaviar, 8, Caspian, 3, Emilia, 2, and the baby, but she thinks that is changing and she will get full custody.

She said Russell went to the store Saturday night to buy milk and Monster, an energy drink, leaving the children alone.

As she spoke, the children ran around the kitchen in diapers and a neighbor’s children played with them. Blodgett said Xaviar had gone to stay with his grandmother for a couple of weeks.

“I’m mad — I’m very upset,” she said. “I was very upset at the condition of the home. The kids are still dirty. I haven’t bathed them yet. When I got here, the tub was full of water. The kids could have drowned. There was a hunting knife on the table, dirty, soiled pullups all over the floor, food all over the place. We’ve got it cleaned up with the help of my very awesome neighbor upstairs.”

She said Russell holds the lease on the apartment, as the landlord did not allow her name to be on it because they are not married, but she (Blodgett) will try to take over the lease from Russell.

“I was staying at my mother’s house with the baby, and I was ready to go to bed when child protective called me. My mom paid $140 for a cab for me to go from Farmington to Winslow.”

Russell late Saturday was taken to Kennebec County jail in Augusta where he remained Sunday afternoon. Blodgett said his bail is $1,000 and he is to appear in court at 1 p.m. Monday.

Hubert said Russell’s paperwork says he is scheduled to appear in Kennebec County Superior Court August 22.

Two of the three child abandonment charges are Class C felonies because of the ages of the two youngest children who were left alone, according to Hubert. A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine, he said. The other four charges are Class D misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, he said.

West Baker Street is a dead end off North Garand Street, which is off Clinton Avenue.

Blodgett said she is glad neighbors called police because if something had happened to the little ones, the 8-year-old would not have known what to do. She said she wants to stay in the apartment because it is nice and the neighborhood is nice.

“If he (Russell) comes here, I’ll tell him, ‘No, you have to leave.’ All he needed to do was say to a neighbor, ‘Hey, I need to go get milk — can somebody watch the kids?’ This is not the first time we’ve had issues in our relationship, but I will say he’s never been violent to me or the kids.”

She said Russell is disabled and can not work. She says she is a salesperson for a marketing company but is trying to find additional jobs.

“I need to make more money to support all these kids,” she said.

The police and child protective worker were nice and stayed with the children until she arrived in the cab early Sunday morning, she said.

“I think they did a wonderful job. They were very nice to Xaviar.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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