Police: Man on parole left 2 kids at York-area hotel for hours

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Moses Fahnestock

A Union County man who police said left two children at a York-area hotel for hours remains in prison, unable to make bail.

Moses Fahnestock, 37, of Wildwood Road in Mifflinburg, is being held in York County Prison on $15,000 bail, charged with two felony counts of child endangerment.

He was already on state parole when he drew the attention of York Area Regional Police on Saturday night at the Country Inn and Suites on St. Charles Way in York Township, according to charging documents.

The charges were increased from misdemeanors to felonies because Fahnestock has a prior child-endangerment case, charging documents state.

He pleaded guilty to child endangerment, attempted carjacking and a number of other charges in Dauphin County Court in a 2014 case in Swatara Township, court records state.

Police said Fahnestock checked into the hotel about 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

He left around 9 p.m., telling the 7- and 9-year-old children in his care that he would return in a half-hour, documents state. One of the children is his son, and the other is the daughter of his friend, police said.

After dark: The children were playing with other kids in front of the hotel but began asking for Fahnestock after it got dark, and after the other children had gone inside, according to documents, which state the children were alone from 9 p.m. until about midnight.

The hotel manager eventually called police, and officers were on scene when Fahnestock returned there at 11:56 p.m., charging documents state.

Moses Fahnestock

He claimed an 11-year-old girl agreed to watch the children, but the girl told officers Fahnestock said he would be gone only a few minutes, documents state.

When asked by officers if he thought it was OK leaving the children with an 11-year-old, Fahnestock claimed the girl looked older, according to charging documents.

He also told officers he left because he was selling a car, but he declined to say where the purported sale happened, documents state.

The girl's mother arrived on scene, as did a caseworker from the York County Office of Children, Youth and Families, according to police.

Fahnestock was then arrested, police said.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

>>Like what you’re reading? Not a subscriber? Click here for full access to The York Dispatch’s hard-hitting news, local sports and entertainment.