Police: Pot-smoking Parents Charged With Child Endangerment

February 8, 2018 GMT

NANTICOKE — Two city parents are facing child endangerment charges after their 18-month-old child became unresponsive in a house filled with marijuana smoke, according to police.

Raheem Twyman, 21, and Kayla Marie Bitzer, 25, both of 231 E. Green St., are accused of putting their three children in danger when they smoked marijuana in the house Tuesday afternoon.

According to a police affidavit, police and medics were dispatched to the family home at exactly 4:20 p.m. to a report of an unresponsive child. Police arrived and found medics treating the 18-month-old baby, who was taken to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Bitzer, the mother, told police she and Twyman had been in the basement smoking marijuana while her three children — 18-month-old twins and a 3-year-old — remained on the first floor of the home, police said.

Twyman reported that the 3-year-old came to the basement door to say that the younger children were climbing on a table, so he went upstairs, according to the affidavit. One of the toddlers was on the table, limp and unresponsive, so Twyman yelled to Bitzer for help, police said.

Another resident of the home told police he had been asleep upstairs when Bitzer came up asking him to call 911, according to the affidavit.

Police say the first floor and basement of the house smelled strongly of marijuana, and that Twyman turned over the remaining marijuana he had along with a marijuana grinder and blunt cigars.

The two children who were not hospitalized were taken into protective custody. Officials said the child who was treated was discharged from the hospital later Tuesday.

Police charged both parents with three felony counts of child endangerment and a misdemeanor count of possessing marijuana.

Magisterial District Judge Donald L. Whittaker arraigned them on Wednesday morning. The judge released Bitzer on $75,000 unsecured bail but ordered Twyman jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with bail set at $75,000.

Preliminary hearings were set for Feb. 14.

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