Oakhurst Man Jailed for Child Endangerment

4/3/2008 Oakhurst Deputies took 32-year old Michael Harper of Oakhurst into custody Monday.

At around 1 PM on Monday, Sheriff's Dispatch received the following urgent message: "Two little boys, walking in the middle of the road on Jean Road, no adult anywhere in sight. One of the boys has no clothes on and the other is holding some sort of wild animal in his arms."

Deputies Warren Anderson, Roy Broomfield and Sergeant Karl Hancock responded to the area and found the boys, both age three, one was naked from the waist down and the other was cradling what appeared to be a baby squirrel.

Neither child was able to tell deputies where they lived.

While one deputy transported the two toddlers to the Oakhurst Substation the other two scoured the area trying to find where they lived.

Deputy Roy Broomfield found the home and a man inside who was purportedly supervising the toddlers. The man said at some point he fell asleep and the boys managed to leave their home and wander away.

The man, later identified as Harper, first gave deputies a name other than his own until he found out that an arrest warrant had been issued for that individual. He recanted saying he lied about his name because he knew he was wanted just didn't realize the other guy was wanted too.

Harper was wanted on a $25,000 warrant issued out of Fresno for 3 counts of child neglect.

Harper was taken into custody without incident and transported down the mountain to Madera County Department of Corrections where he was booked on the Fresno warrant, providing false information to a Peace Officer and Child endangerment.

He remains jailed with bail set at $35,000.

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