Police: Man charged with child neglect after playing joke on children to 'scare' them

William Antonio Chauncey, 33, was arrested Dec. 6 in Oklahoma City on a complaint of child neglect. (Oklahoma County Jail)

Police arrested a man who they say left his young children at a home in southwest Oklahoma City as a "joke" to "scare" them.

Officers were dispatched around 4:30 p.m. Dec. 6 to a welfare check on an 8-year-old and 4-year-old found walking along I-44 near SW 29 Street, according to Oklahoma City Police Department reports. The kids told officers that they had been dropped off by their father at his friend's home. The boys said that their dad had left and his friends were not home.

The officers then contacted DHS and took the kids to eat. While eating, the officers learned that a 911 call had come in for two kids that had run away from a home in the 2300 block of S. Goff. The officers then responded to the home.

When police arrived on the scene they spoke with the boy's father, 33-year-old William Chauncey. He told officers that he had come to the home to visit a friend and left the kids in the car. When he came back they were gone. He then began looking for them but couldn't find anyone that spoke English. He then called 911 about the missing children around 4:50 p.m. The man stated he had no good reason to not call authorities immediately after noticing the children were gone and that their mother was home sick with a spider bite.

Offiers reportedly became skeptical about the time frame of the incident. Chauncey later allegedly admitted to leaving the two kids at the home as a "joke".

He told police that the victim's had gotten out of the car to play hide and seek and when they got out of sight he drove off, stating he was attempting to "scare" them. He reportedly observed the kids running down the street and when he turned around lost sight of them.

Chauncey allegedly began to panic after not being able to find the children but "felt stupid" about the joke and didn't want to call 911.

He was later arrested by police on a complaint of child neglect and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail.

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