Couple stranded during storm charged with endangerment

Christopher Dornblaser
505-5436/@YDDornblaser
  • A West Manchester Twp. couple allegedly took their young children out late during the night of a winter storm.
  • Police say the two got into an argument, causing David Freshwater to throw the keys out of the window.
  • The two were charged with child endangerment.

A West Manchester couple is charged with child endangerment after police say an argument left the two stranded in their car with their two young children during a winter storm earlier this month.

David Freshwater

David Allen Freshwater, 39, and Ariell Olivia-Kaelin Fissel, 24, of 2739 W. College Ave., had been drinking alcohol and had taken medication before leaving their home on the night of Feb. 8, when the two got into an argument, police said.

Freshwater allegedly pulled the keys from the ignition and threw them out the window and into some tall brush, stranding his girlfriend, Fissel, and their two young children, a 3-year-old daughter and an 11-month-old son, in their van, documents allege.

Feb. 8 was the night that a winter storm was moving into the area, and police say there was freezing rain coming down during the couple's argument.

Freshwater and Fissel are charged with two counts of endangering welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person, according to court documents.

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Ariell Fissel

Alleged incident: According to police, the couple had gone to a garage "on a logging road" in the area and were driving back to their home when Freshwater pulled the keys from the ignition. They were found stranded in the area of 560 Trinity Road about 11:45 p.m., documents state. It is unclear why the couple went to the garage.

Fissel told police that she and Freshwater drank 70 proof alcohol before driving and that Freshwater had also taken Vicodin, according to charging documents. Police say Fissel admitted to taking a prescription medication, as well, but charging documents do not state what that medication was.

Their daughter was wearing only a thin shirt with no pants on, which was "obviously inappropriate for the weather," documents state.

When asked why they brought their small children out in the middle of the night when they were intoxicated and under the influence of pills, they said "they didn't want to leave them at the house," the officer wrote in charging documents.

Fissel's father picked up her and her children, and Freshwater was told to spend the night at the garage or to call someone to pick him up, police said.

On Feb. 10, the children were briefly placed in protective custody, according to police.

The two were arraigned on the charges Feb. 18, according to online court records. Freshwater was remanded to York County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bail. Fissel remains free after posting $5,000 bail. It is unclear if either have an attorney.

Their preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 28 at District Judge Keith L. Albright's office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.