Police: Man left child in truck for beer

A 58-year-old man was arrested on a warrant stemming from an incident in late February in which a 6-year-old girl was found alone in his cold truck outside a Seymour bar.

Richard L. Scroggins of Commiskey, who is the legal guardian of the girl, was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown on a charge of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony, Monday morning.

His arrest resulted from a Jackson Circuit Court warrant issued Feb. 27 after the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department responded to a complaint of a child left in a vehicle in front of Brewskies Grub and Pub on the east side of Seymour, county Reserve Officer Scott Davis said.

That incident was reported at 5:22 p.m. Feb. 25 when the 6-year-old girl, who is Scroggins’ granddaughter, was found by police inside Scroggins’ 2014 GMC pickup truck, Davis said.

The truck was not running, and there wasn’t any heat turned on in it, Davis said. The air temperature was 33 degrees at the time, Davis said.

He said Scroggins had left the child in there so he could have a beer before taking her to an appointment in Seymour.

Davis said the child was watching a video on a cellphone and suffered no ill effects from being left alone in the cold truck.

Police talked to Scroggins and a witness at the bar and discovered Scroggins had purchased a beer inside the bar but had not consumed it before officers arrived, Davis said.

Police told Scroggins to leave the bar and take the child to her appointment due to the circumstances surrounding the needs and care of the girl, Davis said.

He also was allowed to leave with the girl because he had not drank anything when police found him inside the bar, Davis said.

A request for a warrant was filed with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, which prompted the arrest warrant, Davis said.

Scroggins was being held at the jail without bond Monday pending his initial hearing.

The incident was investigated by Davis and county officers Jeff Walters and Dustin Steward along with officers with the Seymour Police Department.