A Muldrow man was arrested July 17 and charged with felony child endangerment by driving under the influence.
Ban Harris Daly Jr., 60, faces up to four years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000 on the felony count. He was also charged with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence, a misdemeanor.
On July 7, a Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a residence in rural Muldrow about a missing child. When the deputy arrived at the home he saw several children playing in the yard.
As the deputy was speaking with the children, a tan Chevrolet pickup pulled into the home’s driveway and a white male opened the driver-side door. The male was identified as Roy Ivey the owner of the property and the father of the missing child.
Ivey told officers that his daughter was supposed to be home at 7 p.m. and that no one had been able to reach her. He said he and his wife drove to every location the girl might be but could not find her and the grandfather of a friend of hers.
The grandfather was Ben Harris Daly, who lives down the road from the Ivey home.
When the deputy made contact with Daly, Daly told him he didn’t understand why everyone was so upset. Daly said he, the missing child and another girl had gone swimming at Lee Creek. Daly said he thought he had permission to take the children swimming. “Did I mess up here?” he said to the deputy.
While speaking with Daly, the deputy saw a white juvenile female in the back seat of the truck and he could smell the odor of alcohol coming from Daly. The smell of alcohol and Daly’s slurred speech prompted the deputy to order Daly out of the truck. As Daly got out of the truck, he stumbled, nearly falling.
The deputy asked Daly if he had been drinking, to which Daly said, “Yes, I got a little drunk.” A failed field-sobriety test led to the man’s arrest.
During a discussion with the Department of Human Services, Daly said he thought Ivey was trying to set him up because he was told by someone that the teen who was missing had been posting nude photos on the Internet.
After filling out witness statements, Ivey contacted the deputy on July 8. The juvenile female who had been missing stated that there was an older man at the creek that tried to “abduct” her but the two girls refused to get in his truck.
The girl said that toward the end of the day, Daly fell down, almost in the creek. The two girls helped him up and then Daly gave one of the girls his vehicle’s keys. When the girls stopped the truck to use the restroom, Daly reportedly took the keys and began driving erratically. The girls stated that they got in the back of the vehicle in case Daly crashed.
Ivey said he had left work because his daughter hadn’t returned home when she was supposed to. He said the girls and Daly were supposed to go to Brushy Lake to swim, but instead the trio went to Lee Creek without notifying him of the change.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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