OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma City man is facing charges after being accused of neglecting three children, one as young as 2 years old; leaving them home alone for extended periods of time.
Neighbors say there are a lot of families in this neighborhood.
They say they would often see the kids outside but had no idea what was going on inside their home.
“I don’t know for sure if there was anyone there to watch them because the little rascals would ride their tricycle out,” said Robert Smith, who lives nearby.
Smith says he takes his dog for a walk every day in his southwest Oklahoma City neighborhood.
“Just a good, old, quiet neighborhood,” he said.
Often, he’d run into three young children playing outside alone.
“There was one in a diaper and they’d ride those bicycles down,” said Smith. “I’m a great-grandparent and I did talk to the kids a time or two to tell them to get back in there and they’d kind of listen for a day or two. Then they’d be rolling out soon.”
Police say throughout the week, other neighbors had called, concerned the children were unsupervised.
Around 6:30 Tuesday night, they received another call.
“Apparently the 5 and 6-year-old had locked the 2-year-old in a room and the 5 and 6-year-old went outside to seek help,” said MSgt. Gary Knight, with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
Police say inside the home, they found the 2-year-old in a full diaper, adding there were no phones for the kids to use in case of emergency.
“There was no food for them,” Knight said. “There was a large knife that had been left out that the children could have easy access to. Thankfully, none of them picked it up and hurt themselves or someone else with it.”
Officers say the children told them that their caregiver, 32-year-old Roger Lord, works all day and comes home in the evening.
According to the police report, Lord got home around 8:15 that night and was arrested.
“It is illegal to neglect your children,” said Knight. “There is no set age that says, like at age seven, you can start leaving them alone. That’s something that’s a very gray area but, obviously, at that age, you cannot leave them alone for extended periods of time.”
Lord was booked into the Cleveland County Jail on a charge of child neglect and later bonded out.
KFOR reached out to Lord. He denied the allegations against him, saying he is innocent.