Police sirens

A Loretto couple has been charged after state police say they left a 1-year-old in a running, unlocked, unattended vehicle for more than an hour.

Eric Baker Ellis, 46, and Amber Ann Mattix, 37, of Manor Drive, were each charged with one felony count of endangering the welfare of children and a citation for leaving an unattended child in a motor vehicle for an incident Saturday.

In a criminal complaint, state police in Ebensburg said they were dispatched to the Sankertown VFW around 11:52 p.m. for the report of a 15-month-old child left unattended in a motor vehicle.

Troopers said they arrived just after midnight Sunday and saw a child asleep in the back seat of a running vehicle with the doors unlocked.

The complaint says police stood beside the vehicle for at least five minutes before entering the VFW and, during that time, no one approached the vehicle to check on the child.

Ellis was located near the bar drinking a beer, police said, while Mattix was outside the bar in a gated recreational area. Both identified the child in the vehicle, the complaint says, and Ellis told police he was going outside every 10 minutes to check on the child.

"A witness located at the bar advised that this was not correct and that Ellis nor Mattix had gone out to check the child," the complaint says.

Both Ellis and Mattix were arraigned Sunday morning by on-call District Judge John Prebish, who set bail at $30,000 unsecured.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28 with Prebish, online court documents show.

​Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @JBrumbaughTD.