West Newton parents accused of refusing to have infant treated for medical concerns
The parents of an infant girl in West Newton were arrested Saturday on charges of child endangerment and reckless endangerment for failing to follow a pediatrician’s advice to have their child treated at an area hospital due to concerns over low weight and having a below-normal body temperature.
Tiffany M. Aquilina, 37, and Robert J. Aquilina, 38, were arraigned before Night Court District Judge Denise Thiel of Ligonier on charges filed by borough police and ordered held in the county prison on $50,000 bond each.
Officer Michael Stefko reported in an affidavit of probable cause he received a call late Friday afternoon that Tiffany Aquilina had brought in her newborn daughter for a checkup Friday morning at a Westmoreland County pediatrician’s office and the doctor recommended the parents take the 7-week-old child to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment because of the health concerns.
“(The medical staff) reported the child smelled of marijuana and that Mrs. Aquilina’s toxicology screen tested positive for heroin and marijuana,” Stefko also wrote in court documents.
Stefko reported in court documents that when the pediatrician’s staff checked later Friday and discovered the infant was not taken to the hospital, they notified Westmoreland County Children’s Services.
“(Children’s Services) did attempt to contact Mrs. Aquilina several times. Mrs. Aquilina (eventually) did respond to CYS and stated that she and her husband were taking the child to the state of Ohio and that if CYS called again Mrs. Aquilina was going to sue CYS,” Stefko wrote.
The pediatrician’s office reported that Mrs. Aquilina told staff at the doctor’s office that she had to get some clothes at home before taking the child to the hospital.
The Aquilinas were arrested later and the infant removed from the parents’ custody.
Borough police could not be reached for further comment. An attorney for the Aquilinas is not listed in online court documents.
The Aquilinas have a preliminary hearing Feb. 25 before Rostraver District Judge Charles Christner.