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Cops: Kids living in 'deplorable' state, kin arrested

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Inside the house at 42 Locust Dr. in Mastic Beach there was no running water, no electricity.

Feces covered the floors. There was rotting food.

And bottles of urine.

The scene was "deplorable," Suffolk County Police said.

Worse, police said, it was the home of five adults and seven children, ages 2 to 13.

On Thursday, in response to a complaint filed with Child Protective Services, Seventh Precinct police officers, Social Service workers, inspectors from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and inspectors from the Town of Brookhaven descended on the house and arrested five family members, charging them with child endangerment.

The children in the home included a 2-year-old girl, a 3-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl, a 5-year-old girl, two 6-year-old boys and a 13-year-old girl, police said. They were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The arrests, which were made at 5 p.m., came on the same day Town of Brookhaven officials announced the condemnation of a Mastic home they said had some of the worst living conditions town inspectors had ever seen.

That house, at 120 N. Titmus Dr., had no electricity and appliances and lights that were being run off a generator, officials said. The home also had a television charged with a car battery and cooking that was being done indoors with propane, officials said.

It was condemned, officials said, as part of a crackdown on substandard housing in the town. In that case, the town issued 20 appearance tickets and ordered tenants to vacate.

Arrested in the raid at 42 Locust Dr. were: Richard Hall, 61; Bernadette Hall, 36; April Hall, 27; Eamon Hall, 23; and Krystal Hall, 21. The five suspects, each charged with seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all lived in the home in Mastic Beach.

It was unclear how they were related. The five family members are scheduled to be arraigned Friday in First District Court in Central Islip.

Police said the SPCA also issued four summonses to Bernadette Hall, who owned cats and dogs taken from the house.

Police said Richard Hall had a drug arrest dating to 1969 and has more recent arrests for theft and driving while intoxicated. Police said he is the grandfather of the children.

Town officials said Brookhaven has instituted the task force to shut down homes with code violations, including not having rental permits, and is looking to create a community court to deal with such issues within the town.

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You'd be surprised to see some of the homes I've walked into on calls in fairly decent neighborhoods, actually. Of course, when I worked the inner city it was a lot more prevalent, but even in some better neighborhoods I've called DYFS to investigate. People with more animals than they could handle, feces, food rotting, plumbing out of order, basically unwashed kids in unclean living conditions and that awful odor that could gag a sewer worker--then there is that odd subset of packrats called hoarders, who fill their homes with everything they can (one hoarder refused to throw away her garbage, so she stored it in the attic). The worst I've seen was in Paterson, NJ on the Clifton Border. A mat of animal feces I mistook for a carpet--I threw my boots away after my shift ended.

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