Babysitter arrested after 5 children found ‘filthy,’ hungry, San Antonio police say


SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A man who was supposed to be babysitting five children is now under the watchful eye of detention officers at the Bexar County Jail.

Shad Modesett, 52, was arrested Sunday evening on five counts of endangering a child at an apartment complex near Eisenhauer Road and Ray Bon Drive.

In a report, San Antonio police said Modesett was supposed to be caring for the children.

Instead, a neighbor called 911 after noticing they were unsupervised, playing with knives and tossing items off a second-floor balcony.

Police found the children in this second floor apartment. A neighbor told them he discovered their plight after seeing the children playing with knives and tossing trash from the balcony. (KSAT 12 News)

“As soon as I open the door, I see, like, mops being thrown down. I see a huge trash bag with dirty trash. I see dirty diapers,” said Artmanthesis Penilton, who lives next door.

Penilton said he went upstairs and spoke to one of the older children, who told him she was hungry and had not eaten in days. He said the girl also mentioned that all their food and clean diapers were kept in a locked room.

Officers also said in their report that the children appeared filthy, as if they hadn’t bathed in some time.

“They were skinny. Their hair was just all over the place. All the little children were in diapers that were soiled,” Penilton said, describing what he saw.

Five children, ages 2 to 9, were in the home at the time, according to the police report.

The report said Modesett is the father of one child and the uncle of the other four.

KSAT 12 News knocked on the door of the apartment Tuesday morning and spoke with Hannah Williams, who said she was the mother of those other children. She denied that they were hungry or dirty.

“Everything was OK when I left,” Williams said. “The kids were good. They had just finished eating bacon and egg tacos.”

Williams said she left the home around 11:30 a.m. Sunday to celebrate Mother’s Day. She said she left her children in the care of Modesett, who was once married to her late sister.

“He was watching my kids before, and I never had any issues like this,” Williams said. “That’s why I felt it was comfortable to trust him.”

Williams said she believes police did the right thing in arresting Modesett, although she partly blames herself for what happened. She said at least two of her children cut themselves while playing with the knives.

According to police, Child Protective Services took custody of all the children for their own protection.

Williams said she believes they have since been turned over to their father.

A CPS spokesperson sent KSAT the following statement on Tuesday evening:

The children are not in our custody so we can’t share specifics, but in a case like this one, we will often create a plan where children can safely remain with family members while an investigation takes place.