Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Cops: Teacher locks son in car at bar to watch band

A Haverford High School teacher's unwavering love for Celtic rock has put him in hot water with the law and with his employer after he brought his young sons to a bar to see a Celtic rock performance Saturday and locked one of the kids alone in his car when the boy acted up, according to court documents.

Cops: Teacher locks son in car at bar to watch band

A Haverford High School teacher's unwavering love for Celtic rock has put him in hot water with the law and with his employer after he brought his young sons to a bar to see a performance Saturday and locked one of the kids alone in his car when the boy acted up, according to court documents.

Keith Barnes, 50, of Ridley Township, was charged with endangering the welfare of children and disorderly conduct for the incident and he has been suspended from his job pending the outcome of the investigation, according to court documents and school officials.

Around 6:45 p.m., Ridley Township police were called to Tom and Jerry's Sports Bar on MacDade Boulevard for reports of a child locked inside of a Toyota in the bar's parking lot.

The temperature was about 45 degrees and police determined the 3-year-old boy had been locked in the car for about 20 minutes, according to court documents. After trying unsuccessfully to open the car for several minutes, the boy's father, Barnes, finally came out of the bar with his other son - a 4-year-old - in tow, police said.

Barnes smelled like booze and told police he'd initially brought both boys in to the bar to enjoy the musical stylings of the band Blackthorn, but the 3-year-old started acting up so he locked him in the car, according to court documents.

Police said Barnes didn't seem to see the big deal in leaving a toddler locked alone in his car and instead kept pointing out to police what he felt was more important, "that he is a musician and Blackthorn is a national act."

Funny, Blackthorn doesn't even call themselves a national act. On their website, they say they have 20 years at the "forefront of the Philadelphia music scene."

Police told Barnes that locking one of your kids in your car and bringing them both to a bar with plans of driving home after drinking was not super smart, according to court documents. 

That Barnes allegedly had to be told this is troubling, especially given the fact that he teaches kids for a living at Haverford High School. According to a video of Barnes on YouTube, he has taught for 28 years and teaches computer aided drafting and design at Haverford.

This morning, Haverford School District Superintendent Bill Keilbaugh said Barnes has been suspended from his teaching position pending the outcome of the investigation.

"The classes will move forward appropriately but pending the outcome of the investigation, he’s been removed from the class," Keilbaugh said.

As for Barnes' children, they were turned over to their mother Saturday night. Barnes did submit to a portable breath test and had a blood alcohol content of .06, according to police.

About this blog
In The Daily Delco blog, Daily News reporters William Bender and Stephanie Farr dig up all the dirt - from crazy crimes to political malfeasance and everything in between - in Delaware County.

E-mail tips to Bender at benderw@phillynews.com or call him at 215-964-2099. Follow him on Twitter: @wbender99

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William Bender and Stephanie Farr
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