Benwood Man Faces Neglect Charge

LUFFT

A Benwood man, who police said numerous callers reported pushing a child’s stroller down a gravel road while shirtless, now faces felony charges after his arrest Thursday evening.

James Lufft, 50, of Benwood, was allegedly seen by several callers wandering down the center of a road while pushing the stroller, staggering and weaving between the road lanes. This led one driver to follow behind him to prevent traffic from striking him or the child.

When Benwood and McMechen police arrived at the scene, Lufft was found, having fallen into the bushes in front of his house. When helped up and questioned by police, he allegedly smelled of alcohol, though he denied being under the influence. He allegedly registered a blood-alcohol concentration of .183 percent on a subsequent breath test.

Police pointed out to Lufft that the 5-year-old child was endangered by the traffic he was wandering into, and the child was given to Lufft’s mother while he was placed under arrest for public intoxication, a misdemeanor, and gross child neglect creating risk of injury, a felony.

Lufft’s preliminary hearing before Marshall County Magistrate Tom Wood has not been scheduled.

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