York police accuse parents of providing improper care for premature sons

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comMay 22, 2013 

York police have arrested two parents accused of withholding medical care from their premature sons, who doctors eventually diagnosed as “failure to thrive.”

In March, a caseworker with the York County Department of Social Services notified police that two infant boys hadn’t received necessary medical care while living with their mother, Savon Michelle Phillips-Young, 26, and their father, Dustin Shad Ruff, 19, at an East White Street home, according to a Rock Hill Police report.

The boys, police say, were born prematurely at 32 weeks in December.

On Monday, police signed warrants for both parents charging them with two counts each of unlawful conduct toward a child, according to police documents.

Rock Hill Police Executive Officer Mark Bollinger said the York Police Department was contacted to assist because the two might be in the York area.

After a search that lasted into Wednesday afternoon, York Police arrested the couple who no longer live at their East White Street address in Rock Hill.

Police obtained records from Piedmont Medical Center and Tri-County Pediatrics showing that Phillips-Young, Ruff and their sons missed six scheduled appointments over the span of two months, Bollinger said.

They successfully went to two appointments, during which doctors noted that the boys were not growing properly, Bollinger said. Eventually, the boys were diagnosed as “failure to thrive.”

Phillips-Young and Ruff said they couldn’t make some of the scheduled visits because they were unable to secure transportation, Bollinger said.

Court records show that Ruff was charged last week with possession of marijuana. His case is pending. State records show that Phillips-Young has no criminal history.

The boys are in foster care, Bollinger said.

Jonathan McFadden •  803-329-4082

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